A third of virus deaths in two counties have occurred this year

By Daniel Clark   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Tuesday 9th February 2021 12:30 pm
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More than 30 per cent deaths of all deaths registered across Devon and Cornwall where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate have occurred in 2021, latest figures show.

A total of 1,380 deaths from coronavirus have been registered across Devon and Cornwall in the Office of National Statistics, with 23 deaths in South Hams being recorded in January 2021.

The two deadliest weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic have both occurred this month, with 147 deaths in the week between January 16-22, and 138 from the week of January 23-29 so far.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which relate to the week of January 23 to January 29, but registered up to February 6, show that 138 of the 458 deaths registered in the two counties had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

The deaths are likely to relate to infections contracted prior to the third national lockdown being implemented and the subsequent rapid reduction in newly confirmed cases.

Of the 138 deaths registered in week 4 (Jan 23-Jan 29), there were seven from people in South Hams.

A further 19 deaths from week 3 (Jan 16-22) have been backdated into the figures this week.

The figures show in which local authority the deceased’s usual place of residence was. For instance, if someone may have died in Derriford Hospital but lived in West Devon, while the death may have been registered in Plymouth, their death would be recorded in the mortality statistics for the ONS figures against West Devon.

Deaths that have occurred in hospitals following a positive coronavirus test since January 29 will be recorded in next week’s figures, as long as the deceased lived within Devon and Cornwall, the death has been registered, and Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There were 74 deaths in Devon and Cornwall’s hospitals within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the period between January 23 and 29, four higher than the ONS figures.

While the two measurements do not compare exact like-for-like details, it means that at least eight of the deaths in the NHS England figures were either of people from outside Devon and Cornwall, or while they had died after a positive Covid-19 test, it did not contribute to their death.

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