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CMI measure of excess deaths for UK passes 100,000

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) is publishing frequent UK mortality analysis through its mortality monitor. The latest update covers week 5 of 2021 (30 January to 5 February) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 16 February 2021.

The key points of this update are the number of deaths registered in England & Wales in week 5 of 2021 was 5,526 higher than if mortality rates had been the same as in week 5 of 2019; equivalent to 47% more deaths than expected. The corresponding figure for week 4 was 52% more deaths than expected.

There have been around 104,600 more deaths than expected in the UK from the start of the pandemic to 5 February 2021. Of these, 43,900 have occurred in the second wave.

The number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate was 7,320 in week 5 of 2021, compared to 8,433 in week 4 of 2021.

Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said:

The CMI’s calculations show that we have now sadly passed 100,000 excess deaths in the UK during the pandemic. Other measures reached the 100,000 mark sooner.

The number of deaths in England & Wales with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate stands at nearly 120,000. The total impact on all-cause excess deaths is lower as there have been fewer deaths than expected from other causes during the pandemic.

The CMI excess death measure allows for the growing and ageing population. This means that our measure is lower than would be obtained using a comparison to unadjusted five-year average death counts.”

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