Covid deaths UK: Number of UK Covid deaths passes 200,000, ONS data shows

More than 200,000 people in the UK have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began, new figures show.

The grim milestone comes as infections and hospital admissions are once again on the rise, driven by the coronavirus subvariant Omicron BA.2 – though the number of deaths remains well below levels reached in previous waves.

A total of 200,247 deaths involving coronavirus have now been registered in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This includes all instances where Covid-19 has been mentioned on someone’s death certificate, either as a main cause of death or a contributory factor.

The National Covid Memorial Wall in London.

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The 200,000 mark was reached on June 25, but has only now been confirmed due to the time it takes for deaths to be registered.

Covid-19 deaths have remained low by historic standards during each of this year’s waves, reflecting the success of vaccines in weakening the link between infection and serious illness.

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Analysis shows that the number of deaths involving coronavirus occurring in the UK each week has remained mostly below 1,000 since early last year, peaking between 1,000 and 2,000 whenever infections have jumped.

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By contrast, during the wave caused by the Alpha variant in January 2021, the weekly figure peaked at nearly 10,000.

The number of mentions of Covid-19 on death certificates has always been the most reliable and consistent measure of coronavirus mortality, as it not affected by factors such as reduced levels of testing, as happened in the early months of the pandemic.

It is now the only UK-wide measure of mortality.

An alternative method, based only on the number of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, was discontinued recently after health authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland stopped reporting the figures.

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Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.

The sharp slowdown in deaths over the past 18 months is illustrated by the way it took just 61 days for the cumulative total to climb from 100,000 to 150,000, but a further 474 days to go from 150,000 to 200,000.