England and Wales Virus Deaths Fall for Seventh Straight Week

(Bloomberg) --

Deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales fell for the seventh week running, providing further support for the government’s decision to ease the lockdown and start reopening the economy.

There were 1,588 deaths linked to Covid-19 in the week ending June 5. While that’s the lowest in nine weeks, it’s still above the level before lockdown was introduced in March, showing the government will have to be wary of the risk of a second wave of the virus.

England and Wales Virus Deaths Fall for Seventh Straight Week

The fall in the number of fatalities has allowed the government to begin lifting restrictions on movement and commerce. More retail stores opened on Monday after being shuttered for close to three months, while pubs and restaurants will follow in July. Any resurgence of cases and deaths could see the loosening reversed.

The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday bring the total number of virus-linked deaths in the U.K. to about 52,500. There are fears this could be an underestimate as mortalities from all causes have risen significantly since the epidemic escalated.

  • Deaths in care homes were almost double their normal level in March and April, according to the ONS, suggesting many deaths from coronavirus there are going unrecorded.
  • The figures are compiled from all death certificates that mention novel coronavirus.
  • Deaths from all causes were 7.3% above the five-year average in week ended June 5.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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