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Rise in Covid-19 death registrations despite bank holiday

The rise follows the recent surge in infections driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

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A family member pays their respects to those who lost their lives to coronavirus at the Covid memorial wall in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

A family member pays their respects to those who lost their lives to coronavirus at the Covid memorial wall in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

A family member pays their respects to those who lost their lives to coronavirus at the Covid memorial wall in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has risen above 1,000 for the first time since early February.

This is despite the figures covering a period that includes the Good Friday bank holiday, when most register offices were closed.

A total of 1,003 deaths registered in the seven days to April 15 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up 4% on the previous week and is the highest number since the seven days to February 11.

The increase is smaller than in previous weeks, but this is likely to reflect the impact of the bank holiday on April 15 when very few deaths will have been registered.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

The figures show deaths involving coronavirus are continuing on an upwards trend, though they remain well below levels seen in previous waves of the virus.

The rise follows the recent surge in infections driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

Infections are now estimated to be falling across the country after hitting record levels in March, but prevalence of Covid-19 remains high, the ONS said.

The 1,003 deaths registered in the week to April 15 is below the 1,484 deaths registered at the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January this year.

It is also some way below the 8,433 deaths registered at the peak of the second wave of the virus, in the week to January 29 2021.

The relatively low number of deaths during recent months reflects the success of the vaccination programme, in particular the rollout of booster doses at the end of last year.

A campaign is now under way to give a “spring booster” – a fourth jab of vaccine – to people aged 75 and over, residents of older adult care homes and those aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed.

Overall, 193,528 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,487, on January 19 2021.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.

Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.

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