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Coronavirus revealed as biggest killer in England and Wales last month

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
LONDON, Dec. 15, 2020 -- A person walks past a sign at Waterloo Underground Station in London, Britain, on Dec. 15, 2020. London moved into Tier Three, the highest level in England's local coronavirus restriction tier system, from midnight on Wednesday. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Tim Ireland via Getty Images)
A man walks past a Tier 3 sign at Waterloo Underground Station in London. (Getty)

The scale of coronavirus deaths has been laid bare in newly-released figures that show COVID was the leading killer in England and Wales in November.

The virus accounted for a total of 9,412 deaths across both countries and was the primary cause of deaths for the first time time since May 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures represent 18% of total deaths in England and 22% of all deaths in Wales in November.

In England there were 8,686 deaths due to COVID, while in Wales there were 726.

A government coronavirus sign on display by the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham city centre. The city will be placed into the more restrictive Tier 3 this week after the national lockdown in England comes to an end.
A coronavirus sign on display by the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham city centre. (PA)

Total deaths in England and Wales were 51,273 in November – broken down, there were 47,910 deaths registered in England, 6,241 more than the five year average.

In Wales there were 3,363 deaths, 576 more than the five year average.

Watch: Wales missed 11,000 coronavirus cases from figures

The numbers were taken in the same month that England went into a second national lockdown due to an uptick in cases.

In October, COVID was the third most common cause of death registered in England and Wales, according to the figures.

For deaths registered between January and November, COVID was the second most common cause of death in England and Wales, behind dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

November saw deaths linked to COVID increase for the third month in a row, reaching 191 deaths per 100,000 in England and 260 deaths per 100,000 in Wales.

However, the figures are considerably lower than at the height of the pandemic in April, where all English regions and Wales recorded the highest mortality rate for COVID deaths.

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London had the highest mortality rate in April (1,208 deaths per 100,000 people), followed by the North West (743 deaths per 100,000 people).

August and September were the months with the lowest numbers of COVID deaths, the ONS added.

Watch: The COVID dos and don’ts of Christmas this year