Call for an “urgent investigation”
However, in November, Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, called for an “urgent investigation” into the matter.
“This could be the fallout from the lack of preventable care during the pandemic, and what happens downstream of that,” he said.
The health service is struggling to cope with the backlog caused by the pandemic.
Compared to the eighteen months preceding the pandemic, there were 16,000 fewer cancer treatment starts, nearly two million fewer hospital appointments and 27 million fewer general practitioner appointments. in less.
In the seven days leading up to November 12, the last week for which ONS figures are available, England and Wales recorded 1,719 more deaths – the highest number since mid-September.
In the same week, the UK also recorded its highest number of Covid deaths since the same point, equivalent to around 60% of the total.
Covid deaths fell by a fifth
However, more up-to-date figures released by the government suggest that Covid deaths are on a downward trajectory from this point.
In the week to November 27, some 633 people in England died in the month following a positive Covid test, down a fifth from the week in the period.
This drop in cases coincides with the accelerated recall campaign.
To date, about two-thirds of vulnerable people over the age of 50 have received the third dose.
Policymakers will now monitor the impact of the new variant of omicron, both in terms of vaccine efficacy and death rates.
So far, more than 100 cases have been sequenced in England.
Average daily cases in South Africa, the epicenter of the variant, have increased six-fold over the past week, although death rates have yet to rise.