The rise in Covid-19 deaths registered each week in England and Wales is slowing down, new figures show.
A total of 2,697 deaths registered in the week ending November 20 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending May 15.
But the figure is an increase of just 9% on the previous week.
This is the lowest week-on-week percentage rise in registered deaths since the start of the second wave of Covid-19 in early September.
The ONS figures show the increase in deaths started to slow in late October.
Deaths jumped by 53% in the week to October 16, then by 46% the following week, then by 41%, 40%, 27% and most recently 9%.
Covid-19 still accounted for just over a fifth (21.5%) of all deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to November 20, however.
Every region of England except one – Eastern England – recorded an increase in deaths involving Covid-19 in the latest figures.
North-west England had 629 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending November 20 – the highest number for the region since the seven days to May 1.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, 481 Covid-19 deaths were registered: again, the highest for the region since the week to May 1.
Some 306 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the West Midlands, while 289 were registered in the East Midlands – in both cases the highest since the week to May 15.
The ONS also put the number of excess deaths in England and Wales so far in 2020 at 62,615.
This is the number of deaths above the five-year average.
There were 1,001 excess deaths in private homes in the week to November 20, the highest number since the week to May 22.
Many more people than normal have been dying in their own home since the coronavirus pandemic started, despite the number of Covid-19 deaths in private homes dropping sharply during the summer and early autumn.
Of the 34,663 excess deaths in private homes that have been registered since March 7, only 3,022 (9%) involved Covid-19.
Of the 12,535 deaths registered in Week 47, 2,697 mention #COVID19 on the death certificate (21.5% of all deaths).— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) December 1, 2020
This has risen by 231 #COVID19 deaths since the previous week (Week 46) https://t.co/SyrXQ7xSX5 pic.twitter.com/lKQchpdH1s
Responding to the figures, Matthew Reed, chief executive at the end of life charity Marie Curie, said: “Today’s data tells us that excess deaths at home are the highest they have been since May, yet there has not been an increase of health and social care workers, resources or money to support these people at home and the loved ones looking after them.
“Bereaved people have told us about how their loved ones missed out on vital care at home before they died during the pandemic. We heard stories of families struggling to manage their loved ones’ pain in the final days of their lives.
“These stories prompted me to write to the Government to request an investigation into home deaths to find out how widespread these issues are.
“There is a real opportunity to learn from this year. At Marie Curie we’d like to work with governments across the UK to avoid going back to an old system which, before Covid, left over 100,000 people a year missing out on the support they needed to have a good death.”
Meanwhile, more than 74,500 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK.
A total of 71,719 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including 65,006 deaths in England and Wales up to November 20 (and registered up to November 28), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.
Since these statistics were compiled, a further 2,525 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 89 in Scotland, 132 in Wales and 64 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
Together, these totals mean that so far, 74,529 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.
The Government’s preferred measure of the official death toll, which counts only those people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, currently stands at 58,448.