More than 70,000 excess deaths during the pandemic

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Rising numbers of Covid-19 deaths have pushed the total number of UK deaths further above the expected level for this time of year.

2,225 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in the week of 6 November, up by 628 in a week.

Deaths registered for any reason were 15% above the level expected at this time of year.

The total number of "excess" deaths, those above expected levels, since the start of the pandemic is now 70,839

Most of these deaths occurred in the first wave: the weeks since the start of October account for just over 5,500 of that total.

"Excess" deaths are the difference between the deaths seen this year (the height of the shaded area in the chart above) and the average over the previous five years for the same weeks (shown by the dashed line).

It includes people whose Covid-19 wasn't confirmed by a positive test and people who died because of the strain the pandemic has put on the NHS and society.

The weekly number of excess deaths is rising.

In the most recent set of figures, deaths were 15% above expected levels compared to 11% above expected levels the week before.

Where is it worst?

In the most recent week of data, London saw no deaths above the average level for this time of year.

But the North West of England saw 1,900 deaths in a single week, nearly 500 more than would be expected.

The North West and Northern Ireland have consistently seen the highest levels of excess deaths in the UK in recent weeks.

The figures for Wales have risen sharply in the last two weeks.

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