One in four deaths in England and Wales registered at the end of November involved coronavirus, new figures show.
There were 3,040 deaths registered where “novel coronavirus” was mentioned on the death certificate in the week ending November 27, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is 24.4% of the total deaths registered during that week, and the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending May 15.
It is also up from 2,697 deaths in the week to November 20 – a jump of 13% (343 more deaths).
This is 20% higher than the average number of deaths for this period of time over the past five years (an increase of 2,099 deaths).
In hospitals, care homes, private homes and other locations the number of deaths was above the five-year average.
And all regions in England had a higher number of deaths than the five-year average for the third week in a row.
Deaths involving Covid-19 rose in all English regions except the North West, where the weekly total fell from 629 to 546.
Nuffield Trust deputy director of research Sarah Scobie said: “The rollout of the first Covid-19 vaccine today does mark a significant moment of hope in the battle against this pandemic, but, alongside this, these figures remind us what we are up against.
“Overall deaths attributed to Covid-19 continue to rise, with over 3,000 deaths registered in the week up to 27 November. This is the 12th week in a row the number of people dying with the virus has continued to grow.
“But we are seeing some positive signs, with a fall in deaths in the North West region, one of the worst hit by the second wave. It is likely that we will see this replicated in other regions over the new few weeks alongside the recent fall in case numbers that we have seen.”
Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said: “In two and a half weeks’ time, an extra 3,000 families won’t be celebrating Christmas with a loved one, due to Covid-19.”
He added: “A quarter of all deaths in England and Wales involved Covid-19.
“More recent Government data suggest that while these numbers are declining, they are doing so slowly and we may expect something in the region of 280 Covid-19 deaths per day by the time the restrictions are lifted for Christmas.”
In the East Midlands, 361 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to November 27, again, the highest for the region since the week to May 1.
In north-east England, 220 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to November 27, the highest since the week to May 15.
In Wales, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 fell from 223 to 218 deaths.
The number of excess deaths that have occurred in private homes in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has now passed 35,000.
There were 35,631 excess deaths in homes in England and Wales registered between March 7 and November 27, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Of this total, 3,205 – 9% – were deaths involving Covid-19.
The figures show that 77,707 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK.
A total of 75,092 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the latest reports from the UK’s statistics agencies.
This includes 68,048 deaths in England and Wales up to November 27 (and registered up to December 5), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.
Since these statistics were compiled, a further 2,338 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 77 in Scotland, 124 in Wales and 76 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.