Levels are still below those reached during the summer wave of infections.
18 October 2022
The number of Covid-19 deaths registered in England and Wales is rising again, new figures suggest.
Some 400 deaths registered in the seven days to October 7 mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is up 39% from 287 deaths in the previous seven days, and is the highest weekly total since late August.
It is the first signal that the current wave of infections is likely to be driving an increase in deaths involving Covid-19 – though numbers have yet to match those seen during this year’s summer wave.
Death registrations peaked at 810 in the week to July 29, following the surge in infections caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of Covid-19.
This peak was well below the level seen during the Alpha wave in January 2021, when weekly deaths reached nearly 8,500.
High levels of Covid antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus this year has stayed low.
Data in the next few weeks will confirm if the latest numbers represent the start of a steady upward trend.
Figures published last week by the ONS showed that Covid-19 infections are continuing to rise in both England and Wales.
In England, the number of people in private households testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 3 was 1.5 million, or around one in 35 – up from 1.1 million, or one in 50, in the previous week.
The latest estimate for infections in Wales is 74,900, or one in 40 people, up from 63,400, or one in 50.
However, infection levels are still some way below those reached during the BA.4/BA.5 wave.