Nuffield Trust response to weekly ONS registered deaths statistics

Sarah Scobie responds to the weekly mortality figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Press release

Published: 02/02/2021

Responding to the weekly mortality stats from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the week ending 22 January 2021, Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Research Sarah Scobie said:

“The number of death registrations in the week up to 22 January represent another terrible and deadly week of this relentless wave of the pandemic.

“Deaths attributed to Covid continue to soar week on week and account for nearly half (45%) of all deaths registered. This is the highest proportion of Covid deaths registered week by week during the pandemic; but it is likely this was higher during the first wave as some deaths were not attributed to Covid early on, yet still drove up excess mortality.

“This is a long way from a typical winter. Excess deaths against the five-year average for this time of year are over 40% higher, while London saw twice as many deaths than would have been expected. Nearly two-thirds of those dying in hospitals and almost half in care homes are from Covid. As well as the individual tragedies for countless relatives and loved ones, these losses are putting a huge physical and emotional strain on caring staff.

“It now looks like we are passing the peak of daily reported deaths. This peak is yet to unfold in registrations so sadly we are likely to see further rises in these weekly numbers.”

Notes to editors