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CMI assesses impact of COVID-19 on total UK deaths

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 17 of 2020 (18 April to 24 April) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 5 May 2020.

The key points of this update are:

  • There were 2.2 times as many deaths registered in week 17 of 2020 than if death rates had been the same as week 17 of 2019. The ratio was 2.4 in week 16 and 1.8 in week 15.
  • These ‘excess’ deaths in week 17 were 1.4 times the number of registered deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
  • There may have been around 55,000 more deaths in the UK from the start of the pandemic to 4 May 2020 than if mortality rates were similar to those experienced in 2019.

Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: “This is the first week that we’ve seen a reduction in the number of ‘excess’ deaths. This suggests that we are over the peak of the current outbreak. However, our analysis also suggests that the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic is roughly double that of commonly-quoted figures for COVID-19 deaths.”

All mortality monitor weekly updates are publicly available on the mortality monitor page.

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