During the coronavirus pandemic, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) is publishing weekly UK mortality analysis through its mortality monitor. This week’s update shows the position as at week 23 of 2020 (30 May to 5 June) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 16 June 2020.
The key points of this update are:
- There were 4% more deaths registered in week 23 of 2020 than if death rates had been the same as week 23 of 2019. The increase was 17% in week 22 and 18% in week 21.
- There have been 63,000 more deaths in the UK from the start of the pandemic to 5 June 2020 than if mortality rates were similar to those experienced in 2019.
- Since week 21, the number of deaths registered with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate has exceeded the number of ‘excess’ deaths that we’ve seen relative to 2019.
- We have previously published an up-to-date estimate of ‘excess’ deaths, but this is not currently worthwhile as variations in non-COVID deaths are playing a bigger role and could easily overshadow a relatively low number of COVID-19 deaths.
Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said:
“In recent weeks we’ve seen death registrations decline to the extent that ‘COVID-19 deaths’ exceed ‘excess’ deaths. There could be a number of reasons for this, including improvements in non-COVID mortality rates, attribution of deaths to COVID-19 that would have occurred in any case due to another cause, ‘forward mortality displacement’, or just plain statistical noise. At this stage of the pandemic, we prefer to focus on registered rather than estimated figures.”
All mortality monitor weekly updates are publicly available on the mortality monitor page.
Notes to editors
- “Excess” deaths are the difference between actual deaths in 2020, and those that we would expect if mortality rates had been the same as in 2019.
- The figure of 63,000 ‘excess’ deaths to 5 June is below the estimate of 65,000 deaths to 8 June 2020 in last week’s press release, since excess deaths in week 23 were well below COVID-19 deaths.
- Some of the deaths that we could have expected to see in recent weeks may have occurred earlier in the pandemic, reducing deaths in recent weeks. This bringing forward of deaths is referred to as ‘forward mortality displacement’.
Sonia Sequeira, Media Relations Manager, IFoA
Tel: 07525 592 198
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