COVID-19: Number of weekly coronavirus deaths falls
Written by Hitmix News on 16 February 2021
The number of people who have COVID-19 antibodies has increased across the UK but there is “substantial variation” between regions, new figures show.
The rates are highest in England, where around one in five adults tested positive for antibodies, with the ratio rising to one in seven in Wales and Northern Ireland and one in nine in Scotland.
Having antibodies indicates that people have either previously been infected with the virus or have had a coronavirus vaccine.
In England, people over 80 were more likely to have antibodies – but across the other three nations the highest rates were seen among younger adults, from 16 to 34-year-olds, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
“We would expect younger groups to have high levels of antibody positivity after the period of high infection rates we have seen in the last few months,” said Esther Sutherland, principal statistician at the ONS.
But even within nations, there are significant difference in the number of people with antibodies – with 24.8% found to have them in London compared to 11.6% in the South West.
In the same survey, the ONS found the number of weekly coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales has fallen for the first time since Christmas.
There were 7,320 fatalities where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in the week ending 5 February – down 13% from 8,433 deaths the previous week.
Though the figure has started to dip, coronavirus-related deaths in the most recent week accounted for 42.6% of all deaths registered in England and Wales – the third highest proportion recorded during the pandemic.
Of the 7,320 deaths linked to coronavirus, the disease was the underlying cause of death in 89.1% of them.
By comparison, of the 4,993 deaths that involved influenza and pneumonia, those illness were the underlying cause of death in only 6.1% of those cases.
Deaths involving coronavirus declined in all regions, with southeast England reporting the largest decrease.
But the number of deaths from all causes across all English regions remains above the five-year average: the highest seen in London at 69.8%, compared to 10.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber.
So far more than 15 million people have had a coronavirus vaccine, with the UK government saying everyone in the top four priority groups has now been offered a jab.
The next target is for all remaining five priority groups to be offered a vaccine by the end of April, then all remaining adults in the UK reached by autumn.
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PM’s lockdown lifting principles
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will next Monday announce a planned roadmap out of lockdown, where he said he hopes to be able to let schools reopen from 8 March.
He revealed on Monday that he wants the current lockdown to be the last – and for the unlocking to be “irreversible”.
Data to be taken into consideration will include coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout.