Half of deaths in London now Covid-19 related

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Almost half of all deaths in London are now linked to coronavirus, new data has revealed.

It comes as the UK recorded the highest number of deaths in a single week since records began – 16,387.

Covid-19 was a factor in 1,170 of the 2,511 deaths in the capital in the week to April 3, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

That means 46% of fatalities were coronavirus related – compared to just 17% across the rest of the country.

And the number of people whose deaths were linked to the virus was almost five times higher than the previous week, when 237 people died of coronavirus in London.

The capital had more deaths than any other region of England or Wales – but fatalities grew faster in the rest of the country.

There were almost eight times as many Covid-19 deaths outside London in the week to 3 April as the previous week.

Experts say the capital is up to two weeks ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of infections.

ONS data records all coronavirus related deaths – any time the virus is mentioned on the death certificate, not just those who have died in hospital.

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It gives a new sense of the number of people dying at home or in care – and comes after former Pensions Minister Ros Altmann today described the elderly as “lambs to the slaughter”.

Data from five others European countries suggests that around half of coronavirus deaths are happening in care homes.

Between 42% and 57% of fatalities in France, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and Spain are in care, according to a London School of Economics report.

But the ONS dats suggests more than 90% of Covid-19 deaths in the UK happen in hospitals.

There is no breakdown for London – but today’s figures are 12% higher than the NHS hospital death total for the same period in the capital.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the ONS, said across England today’s figures were 15% higher than NHS recorded deaths.

This is because they include suspected Covid-19 cases, as well as deaths in the community, he said.

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