Stats show 43,265 people died last month – just 8 more than October 2019 (when Covid wasn't around)

THE total number of deaths in October was only eight more than the same month last year, new official figures show.

An Office for National Statistics report published today shows 43,265 people died in England last month.

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Statisticians said there were eight fewer deaths in October 2019 – just two months before Covid first emerged in Wuhan, China.

The ONS has previously said deaths were "front-loaded" this year because of the first coronavirus wave which killed more elderly and vulnerable.

Their latest report reveals that there were 3,367 deaths involving Covid-19 in October – almost eight per cent of all fatalities last month.

It means coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in England last month – a huge jump from being the 19th biggest killer in September.

Dementia and Alzheimer's remain the leading causes of death, with 4,781 deaths last month, followed by heart disease, which claimed 4,282 lives.

October was the fourth deadliest month since coronavirus was declared a pandemic in April, when there were more than 30,000 deaths.

The highest number of deaths in one day since May was also recorded on October 29, when there were 189 fatalities.

Despite the rise in Covid fatalities, total deaths in England from all causes in October were just six per cent above the five-year average, when there are around 40,000 deaths.

A spokesperson for the ONS said: "In England, the first death due to Covid-19 occurred on January 30.

"Since March 11, the number of Covid-19 deaths occurring on each day rose – except for April 6, when it decreased by 12 deaths – until the peak of 1,225 deaths that occurred on April 8.

"Since then, the number of Covid-19 deaths each day had been decreasing, but it began increasing again from mid-September and has continued to increase throughout October with 112 deaths occurring on October 31.

"The highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 that occurred in October was on October 29 (189 deaths), which is the highest number of deaths in a day since May 28 (202 deaths).

"The number of death occurrences on more recent dates are likely to rise as we receive more death registrations."

In Wales, there were 2,992 fatalities in October – 285 of which had coronavirus on their death certificate.

It was also the deadliest month since May, when there were 678 Covid-related fatalities.

The mortality figures for last month in Wales was 118 more than in October 2019 and 258 more deaths than the five-year average for the month.

Looking at the year so far, there were 448,579 deaths in England registered by 7 November – 37,873 more than the five-year average – and 29,018 deaths in Wales, or 1,419 more than the five-year average.

From January to October 2020, Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in 11.1 per cent of all deaths in England (50,012) and 9.1 per cent of all deaths in Wales (2,629).

The majority of deaths so far this year were in hospitals – 41.1 per cent in England and 48 per cent in Wales.

But the proportion was lower than the five year average, with a greater proportion of deaths occurring in private homes and care homes compared with the five-year average.

It comes as the latest Government figures for the UK, published today, shows there were 501 deaths on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Public Health England says that Covid-19 case rates in England have fallen for most adult age groups.

But they are continuing to rise among people over 70, according to PHE's latest weekly surveillance report.

The highest rate is still among 20 to 29 year-olds, which stood at 362.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 15, down from 389.9 in the previous week.

Rates have also dropped among 30 to 39 year-olds (from 338.6 to 324.3), 40 to 49 year-olds (316.3 to 313.7), 50 to 59 year-olds (306.1 to 302.3) and 60 to 69 year-olds (217.5 to 209.6).

But rates have risen slightly for 70 to 79-year olds, from 146.1 to 147.5, while for those aged 80 and over rates have climbed from 235.5 to 245.3.

The rate has also increased for 10-19 year-olds, from 232.8 to 257.4.

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