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CMI notes over 5,000 excess deaths in second wave

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) is publishing frequent UK mortality analysis through its mortality monitor. The latest update covers week 47 of 2020 (14 November to 20 November) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 1 December 2020.

The key points of this update are:                                                               

  • The number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate has continued to increase in recent weeks, from under 100 in week 37, to 2,697 in week 47.
  • As a result, all-cause mortality is higher than levels observed in 2019.
  • There were 13% more deaths registered in England & Wales in week 47 than if death rates had been the same as for week 47 of 2019. The corresponding increase in week 46 was also 13%.
  • There have been around 66,500 more deaths in the UK from the start of the pandemic to 20 November 2020 than if mortality rates were similar to those experienced in 2019.

Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: “A sixth consecutive week of excess deaths has taken the total for the second wave to over 5,000. This is much less than in the corresponding period of the first wave.”

“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 CMI treats the pandemic as being week 10 onwards (i.e. from 29 February 2020) and the second wave as being week 38 onwards (i.e. from 12 September 2020).

All mortality monitor weekly updates are publicly available on the mortality monitor page. The CMI intends to publish its next mortality monitor for week 48 on 8 December 2020.