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CMI says excess mortality at lowest level since late March

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 21 of 2020 (16 May to 22 May) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 2 June 2020.

The key points of this update are:

  • There were 18% more deaths registered in week 21 of 2020 than if death rates had been the same as week 21 of 2019. The increase was 40% in week 20 and 38% in week 19.
  • There may have been around 64,500 more deaths in the UK from the start of the pandemic to 1 June 2020 than if mortality rates were similar to those experienced in 2019.

Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: “The latest ONS data shows a decrease in ‘excess’ weekly deaths to the lowest level since late March. In the four weeks to 22 May, excess deaths have been very similar to COVID-19 deaths. Excess deaths were much higher than COVID-19 deaths in the earlier part of the pandemic.”

“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.

ONS plans to publish further analysis of the non-COVID related deaths on Friday.

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

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