FLU has killed more people in the UK than coronavirus for eight weeks in a row, new figures show..
Almost seven times as many people are now dying of influenza or pneumonia than Covid-19, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
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In the eight weeks up to August 7, the latest date for which figures are available, 3,144 people died of coronavirus – but 7,639 died of flu or pneumonia.
Eight weeks ago, a total of 1,002 died of influenza up to June 19 – compared with 783 Covid-19 deaths.
The gap has widened each week since and the latest figures show flu killed 1,013 people in the week up to August 7 – almost seven times as many as the 152 who lost their lives to coronavirus.
It comes as…
It comes as the number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales dropped to its lowest level since lockdown began.
Of the deaths registered in the week up to August 7, 152 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” on their death certificate.
This is the lowest number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the last 20 weeks and a 21.2% decrease compared with the previous week.
The latest figures make up the eigth week in a row that deaths have been below what we’d expect.
Flu deaths were also well below the five-year average – highlighting the steady drop in coronavirus fatalities.
The reason for the drop in flu deaths isn’t yet known, although it’s believed it could be the result of increased hand-washing and mask wearing.
The number of all fatalities registered in England and Wales was 1.7% below the five-year average (157 deaths fewer) in the week up to August 7.
According to the ONS, six regions in England saw figures below the five-year marker.
They were south-east England (0.2% below), the West Midlands (0.6% below), south-west England (4.4% below), Eastern England (4.5% below), London (4.5% below) and Yorkshire & the Humber (5.4% below).
In Wales, the number of deaths registered in the week to August 7 was 1.4% below the five-year average.
The number of deaths in care homes and hospitals also remained below the five-year average in the week up to August 7, although the number of deaths in private homes continued to be higher than the five-year average (702 more deaths).
Figures published on Tuesday by the ONS show that 51,935 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to August 7, which were registered by August 15.
The National Records for Scotland recorded 4,213 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to August 9 while 859 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland up to August 7 according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Together, these figures mean that so far 57,007 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.
This total is far higher than the official figure reported each day by Public Health England (PHE) due to a difference in how the stats are recorded.
Yesterday, PHE confirmed a further three coronavirus fatalities in the UK, bringing the government’s official tally to 41,369.
It comes after the government ordered an urgent review into how the stats were counted, resulting in only deaths which occurred within 28 days of a positive test result being logged.