Quarter of deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales not caused by virus itself, govt statistics show

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In roughly a quarter of deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales, people actually died ‘with’ the coronavirus rather than ‘from’ it, new weekly data from the government reveals.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 400 coronavirus-linked deaths were registered in England and Wales in the week ending April 2. Covid-19 was recorded as the underlying cause of death in 308 cases, which means that 23% of people died ‘with’ the virus rather than ‘from’ it.

Deaths involving Covid-19 made up 4.9% of deaths registered in England and Wales over the same period, compared with 7.2% the week before and 45% in mid-January.

Daily Covid-linked deaths have been steadily decreasing in the UK since the second wave of infections peaked in mid-January.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that the positive trend was mainly a result of lockdowns, rather than the ongoing vaccination campaign. The PM warned that the infection rate will “inevitably” rise again if the country starts to reopen now.

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More than 32 million people across the UK have received their first vaccine dose. On Tuesday, England started using the Moderna vaccine, joining Scotland and Wales that began using it earlier this month. Other vaccines that are currently in use are the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford ones.

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