#Covid Deaths Decline, Excess Deaths Continue: Weekly Update

Last week the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that Covid-19 was no longer a pandemic. The virus, however, continues to be a serious public health issue. Although this week’s death registrations from the National Records of Scotland (11th May 2023) show a decline in deaths involving Covid, excess deaths are a continuing problem.

  • The provisional total number of deaths registered in Scotland in week 18 of 2023 (1st to 7th May) was 1,160 (96 or 9% above the 5-year average).  
  • As of 7th May 2023, there have been a total of 17,569 deaths registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate.
  • In week 18 there were 45 deaths involving COVID-19 (14 fewer than the previous week).

Those figures in more detail:

Deaths involving Covid

Age 45 – 64: 1 death, male

Age 65 – 74: 5 deaths, 3 female, 2 male

Age 75 – 84: 15 deaths, 7 female, 8 male

Age 85+ : 24 deaths, 7 female, 17 male

Five of the deaths were in Care Homes, 4 at Home/ Non Insitutional setting and 36 in Hospital.

graph of covid deaths in Scotland up to this week

There were 1,160 deaths due to all causes, an excess of 96 taken over a 5 year average.

Of the 45 deaths involving Covid, Covid was the underlying cause in 28 of them

Excess deaths occurred across all categories: Cancer +16, Dementia/Alzheimer’s +10, Circulatory +16, Respiratory +8 and Other causes +27.

graph showing excess deaths in Scotland up to today

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales for excess deaths for the period between March 2020 and December 2022

  • In England and Wales, the number of deaths remained above the five-year average in 18 out of 34 months from March 2020 to December 2022, when deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19) were removed from the total; nine of the months in 2022 were above the five-year average.
  • The total number of excess deaths due to all causes (when compared with the five-year average) registered in England and Wales between March 2020 and December 2022 was 167,356; of these, 103,585 were males and 63,770 females.
  • Deaths were 17,288 above the five-year average for deaths where the underlying cause of death was not COVID-19; deaths were 20,945 above the five-year average for males and 3,658 below the five-year average for females.

The term ”excess deaths” refers to the number of deaths above the five-year average. For 2020 and 2021, the average for 2015 to 2019 has been used and for 2022, the average is calculated from 2016 to 2019 and 2021 data. This provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected in a usual (non-pandemic) year.

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