The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has climbed to its highest level since the end of April.
A total of 183 deaths registered in the week ending July 9 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is up 68% on the previous week, and is the highest number since 205 deaths were registered in the week to April 30.
Deaths had dipped as low as 84 in the week to June 11.
The latest figures are likely to reflect the impact of the third wave of Covid-19, which began in the UK in May and has led to a sharp increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus as well as a smaller but steady rise in hospital patients.
The number of deaths is still well below the level seen at the peak of the second wave, however.
Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Monday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that the easing of coronavirus rules in England is likely to lead to an increase in Covid-19 deaths.
Referring to documents earlier in the year which modelled the effects of loosening restrictions, he said: “I think it’s laid out very clearly in the papers as to what the risks are associated with opening up… it will lead to a further increase. I think that’s very clear.”
The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to July 9 was 6.2% above the pre-pandemic five-year average, the ONS said.
The number has not been this far above the average since the week to February 26.
Some 20 care home resident deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales were registered in the week to July 9, up from 11 deaths in the previous week.
In total, 42,587 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.