Coronavirus deaths in the UK are now expected to have surpassed 100,000, after the release of figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
A total of 7,245 registered deaths in England and Wales mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate in the week ending 15 January, the ONS figures show.
That’s up from 6,057 deaths the week before and is the highest weekly number since 24 April 2020.
About four in 10 of the deaths (40.2%) registered in the week ending 15 January were attributed to COVID-19 – the highest proportion of the pandemic so far.
Analysing the data released this morning, Sky News’ economics and data editor Ed Conway said the numbers now show a total of 107,907 deaths across the four nations.
Conway explained: “The ONS measure is slightly different to the official government count, published each day on its dashboard – which classifies a COVID death as one where someone had tested positive for the virus within 28 days of their death.
“The ONS measure, however, is widely viewed as being a more comprehensive, if less timely, measure of the direct toll of the disease.”
In the same week, the number of registered deaths involving COVID-19 increased in eight out of nine English regions compared with the previous week, with the South East and East of England recording their highest weekly numbers of coronavirus deaths.
The figures also show the total number of deaths in Wales exceeded the first wave peak for two weeks in a row.
Conway added: “It’s another week of depressing news… it is one of those moments none of us wanted to report.”
Yesterday, the UK recorded its lowest daily rise in coronavirus cases so far this year, with 22,195, according to figures released by the Department for Health and Social Care.