The number of weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus has risen by more than half in seven days, new figures have shown.
There were 670 deaths registered in England and Wales which mentioned “novel coronavirus” in the week ending October 16, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is a rise of 53% from the previous week, when 438 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered.
It is the sixth consecutive rise and the highest number of registered deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending June 19.
521 in hospitals
106 in care homes
33 in private homes
Six in hospices
Two in communal establishments
Deaths increased in all regions in England and Wales, and in hospitals, care homes, hospices, private homes and other communal establishments.
The biggest rise was in those over 90, with Covid-19 deaths almost doubling – 132 deaths in the week ending October 16, up from 67 deaths the previous week.
Of the latest deaths, 521 occurred in hospitals, 106 in care homes, 33 in private homes, six in hospices, two in other communal establishments and two elsewhere.
About one in eight (12%) of the 4,346 registered hospital deaths in the week ending October 16 involved coronavirus.
Looking at hospital deaths on the day they occurred, there were 86 deaths on October 15.
This is the highest number of daily deaths for four months, since 90 deaths occurred in hospitals on June 10.
North-west England had 229 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending October 16 – the highest number for the region since the week ending June 5, according to the ONS.
In north-east England, 93 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to October 16, which is also the highest since the week to June 5.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, 87 deaths were registered: the highest since the week to June 19.
The South East was the only region to have fewer deaths from all causes than the average for this time over the past five years.
Nuffield Trust deputy director of research Sarah Scobie said: “The areas of England that are seeing the most deaths from Covid-19 are the same areas facing spikes in cases and tighter restrictions to curb the virus, with particular increases in deaths due to Covid-19 registered in the North West.
“These stark regional differences are now really beginning to affect local services.
“While there is understandably a desire to maintain non-Covid services in hospitals, this is coming up against the reality of rising numbers of cases and severely ill patients in the worst-affected regions.
“What’s more, cancelled operations are just one symptom of the strain hospital services are under – they don’t tell us about the growing pressures faced by families and carers as deaths outside hospital continue to climb.”
Deaths in hospitals remained below the five-year average while deaths in private homes and care homes were above it.
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics, The Open University, said the latest data makes for “sobering reading”.
He said: “Looking at the locations where deaths occur, it remains the case that deaths (from all causes) at home are running at roughly 100 a day more than the five-year average, while deaths in hospitals are below average.”
He continued: “Another disturbing feature of this week’s data is that deaths (from all causes) in care homes in England and Wales are now higher than the average for the same week in the past five years.
“The number of excess deaths in care homes is not large, 90 for that week, but the numbers of deaths in care homes have been lower than the five-year average for every week since mid-June until this most recent week.”
The figures take the total number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK to 61,116.