COVID-19: More than 1,000 weekly coronavirus deaths recorded for first time in eight months, ONS figures show

More than 1,000 weekly COVID deaths have been recorded in England and Wales for the first time in eight months.

A total of 1,020 deaths were registered in the week ending 12 November where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

During the seven-day period, COVID accounted for about one in 12 deaths that were registered – a 3% increase from the previous week, when 995 deaths were recorded.

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It is the first time the weekly total has passed 1,000 since the week ending 12 March, during the 2021 national lockdown.

Registered deaths involving the virus increased in six of the nine English regions and fell in Wales.

People aged 80 and over accounted for 44.6% of the deaths registered in the seven days to 12 November.

This is the lowest proportion for this age group since the week ending 27 August, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

The figure is down from 46.2% in the previous week and 50.4% two weeks earlier.

The drop might reflect the impact of COVID-19 booster vaccines, which began to be rolled out in late September to all over-50s who were at least six months on from their second dose.

People aged 80 and over were one of the first groups eligible for the jab, as they would have received their second dose early in the year.

Latest data shows 43.2% of people in that age group who are eligible for the booster have already received it.

Analysis by Thomas Moore, science correspondent

However, 60 to 79-year-olds accounted for 44.3% of deaths registered in the same week- the highest percentage for this age group since the seven days up to 28 May.

There were 12,050 deaths from all causes recorded in the week ending 12 November, which is up 500 from the previous week.

It is also 16.6% higher than the five-year average number of fatalities recorded for this period.

Since the start of the pandemic, 169,767 deaths have occurred across the UK where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate, according to ONS.

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