More people dying of flu and pneumonia than Covid for first time since second wave erupted
MORE people are dying of flu and pneumonia than coronavirus for the first time since the second wave erupted, new data has revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that deaths from Covid are down 28 per cent on last week and are at the lowest number since the week ending September 25.
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Deaths caused by Covid were at 260 – but it was only listed as the underlying cause for 176 people.
This is compared to 278 deaths listed for flu and pneumonia – however this was mentioned on 1,203 death certificates.
It means that the flu is now causing more deaths than coronavirus, suggesting that lockdowns and the vaccine rollout has helped stop the spread.
During the summer months flu had overtaken Covid several times as the biggest killer in England and Wales.
Then as the second wave of the virus started to take hold, Covid started to creep up once again.
Hints of a second wave started in September as infections started to rise and university students started the academic year.
The week ending October 2 was the last time that flu deaths were higher than those caused by Covid.
Some 152,491 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.
The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.
Deaths have now fallen by 97 per cent since January.
So far in the UK 34.6 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine with 15.6 now having had two doses.
The most vulnerable in society were prioritised for the jabs, meaning that most people in older age groups have now had both doses.
This is reflected in the ONS data which also revealed that for those aged 70 and over, deaths involving Covid-19 have fallen by 98 per cent since the second-wave peak.
A total of 166 Covid-19 deaths in the 70-and-over age group occurred in England and Wales in the week ending April 16, down from 7,414 deaths in the week ending January 22.
Deaths for those aged 65-69 fell 96 per cent in the same period, with drops of 95 per cent for those aged 60-64 and 96 per cent for those aged both 55-59 and 50-54.
The data from the ONS comes after experts stated that it's unlikely a third wave of the virus will take over this summer.
Cases, hospitalisations and deaths have all continued to fall in recent weeks and it was yesterday reported that the UK recorded four more Covid deaths after just one new fatality was reported on Monday.
A further 1,946 new cases were confirmed, meaning 4,423,796 have now tested positive for the bug since the start of the pandemic.
A fall in cases, as well as the vaccine rollout has given hope to government advisers.
But while the experts say there will not be a severe third wave this summer – they state that there is still uncertainty around new and possible emerging variants.
Speaking to The Times, head of the government’s SPI-M modelling group, Professor Graham Medley said the low case rates are in line with what was expected for May as more restrictions are set to be lifted on May 17.
He said: "The good news about the vaccination effect means that some of the scenarios about very large waves later in the summer are now very unlikely."
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