A mild winter flu: UK deaths in January are 5,000 LOWER than expected
The death rate in January fell below the five-year average despite thousands of Covid deaths, according to official figures.
Nearly 5,000 fewer people died in the UK last month than would be expected in the first month of the year despite virus deaths.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the five-year average for deaths in England and Wales in the first four weeks of the year is 55,130, but this year 50,740 deaths were registered in that period.
For the country as a whole, there were 4,894 fewer deaths recorded than the average for 2016 to 2021. The ONS removed 2020 from its five-year average because it was such an outlier.
If 2021 is also removed from the five-year average there are still declines, with 1,310 fewer deaths between January 7 and January 28.
The figures for the week ending January 28 also show that the number of deaths where Covid is the primary cause has been falling in recent weeks, from 77.4 per cent of registered virus deaths in the week ending January 14 to 72.9 per cent the following week down to 71.2 per cent the week after. This also means that hundreds of people included in the official weekly ONS Covid figures died primarily from other causes.