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COVID-19: Declining deaths ‘reassuring’ but NHS still under pressure

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COVID-19 deaths are declining COVID-19 deaths are declining

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 has continued to fall, although caution must still be exercised, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

According to the ONS statistics, The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 19 February 2021 was 13,809; this was 1545 fewer deaths than in the previous week. Of these deaths registered in, 4079 mentioned ‘novel coronavirus (COVID-19)’; a decrease of 1,612 deaths compared with the previous week.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine has no serious side effects

‘The continuing decline in deaths from COVID-19 is reassuring, and is testament to the determination and commitment of everyone contributing to the COVID-19 response across the NHS, and of course, of the public taking actions that help reduce the spread of the virus,’ said Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation.

‘We must ensure this downward trend continues, and remain cautious, especially as schools are reopened next week and restrictions are eased over the coming months.’

Of the deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 29.5% of all deaths in England and Wales, compared with 37.1%. Of the 4079 deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales, 3495 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (85.7%). Of the 3430 deaths that involved Influenza and Pneumonia, 292 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (8.5%).

Read more: Over 4 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

‘There are now under 15,000 patients in hospital with COVID-19 across the UK, down from a peak of more than 39,000 in January, and although more than 20 million people have now received their first vaccine dose, the NHS is still under pressure,’ added Dr McCay.

‘We cannot afford to lose steam and would urge the Government to maintain its cautious approach, especially as some local authority areas report slight increases in cases, and as the more transmissible Brazilian variant found in the UK is a cause for concern.’

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