'Excess deaths remain well above the five-year average and there is no room for complacency': The King's Fund response to ONS deaths data

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Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics data on deaths in England and Wales in the week ending 4 December, Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund said:

‘With more than 71,000 excess deaths in England and Wales since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the death statistics for this year are truly sobering. If current trends continue, the total excess death toll for 2020 could exceed 80,000, very likely leading to a significant fall in life expectancy in 2020.

‘Although Covid-19 related deaths fell somewhat in the week ending 4 December, excess deaths remain well above the five-year average and there is no room for complacency. With infections rising sharply in some parts of the country, and the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas, January could see a further surge in hospital admissions and deaths.

‘While many European countries are also seeing a spike in infections, the UK has had a higher rate of excess deaths than many. The lessons of the past must be learned to keep the toll of the pandemic on families, the NHS and the economy to a minimum until the vaccine has been rolled out to enough people to protect the population.’

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