Weekly West Midlands coronavirus deaths rise to highest level since July as infection rates climb

The West Midlands has had its highest number of weekly coronavirus deaths for nearly four months while infection rates are continuing to rise in Shropshire, new figures show.

Coronavirus infection rates across the region per 100,000 people, left, and the number of new positive tests in the corresponding seven days
Coronavirus infection rates across the region per 100,000 people, left, and the number of new positive tests in the corresponding seven days

Covid-19 was involved in 49 deaths in the West Midlands in the seven days up to October 16 – the highest weekly figure since early July.

According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus rose by 14 per cent over seven days, and was more than triple the figure recorded a month earlier.

The last time the region recorded 49 Covid deaths was July 3.

The West Midlands has now had 5,926 deaths from coronavirus since March, with the highest weekly total of 999 deaths recorded on May 17.

Deaths from Covid made up four per cent of the total number of deaths in the region in the week of October 16.

Nationally, there were 670 deaths registered in England and Wales which mentioned “novel coronavirus” in that week, up 53 per cent from the week before.

Infection rate

Meanwhile separate figures show that all but four areas of the wider West Midlands now have a rate per 100,000 that is higher than the national average, with some showing significant spikes in infection rates.

Virus infection rates for the week October 17-23 show significant jumps in all areas of the West Midlands, with health chiefs understood to be considering putting parts of the region into tier three restrictions.

The rate in the Telford & Wrekin borough was almost double that of Shropshire, at 203 cases per 100,000 people compared to 106 per 100,000 people in Shropshire (see above).

Both boroughs are in the tier one "medium" risk category, but Telford's rate is almost as high as Wolverhampton and Solihull which are in tier two.

South Staffordshire, which remains in tier one for the time being, has seen its rate per 100,000 rise from 146 to 349 in just a week.

And all urban areas of the West Midlands now have a rate above 200 per 100,000, including Dudley at 213, which could also be lifted out of tier one in the coming days.

More Covid-19 coverage:

Meanwhile, Powys, which is now part of Wales’ circuit breaker lockdown has a rate of just 49 per 100,000 – way below the national average for England and Wales of around 130.

Figures from the ONS show the impact the rise in virus cases is having on deaths.

It has reported the sixth consecutive rise and the highest number of registered deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending June 19.

In the West Midlands the figures has risen in all but one week since five deaths were recorded in the week of August 28.

Across the country

Deaths increased in all regions in England and Wales, and in hospitals, care homes, hospices, private homes and other communal establishments.

The biggest rise was in those aged over 90, with Covid-19 deaths almost doubling – 132 deaths in the week ending October 16, up from 67 deaths the previous week.

Of the latest deaths, 521 occurred in hospitals, 106 in care homes, 33 in private homes, six in hospices, two in other communal establishments and two elsewhere.

About one in eight of the 4,346 registered hospital deaths in the week ending October 16 involved coronavirus.

There were 86 Covid related deaths in hospitals on October 15 – the highest number of daily deaths for four months, since 90 deaths occurred in hospitals on June 10.

North-west England had 229 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending October 16 –the highest number for the region since the week ending June 5, according to the ONS.

In north-east England, 93 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to October 16, which is also the highest since the week to June 5.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, 87 deaths were registered: the highest since the week to June 19.

The South East was the only region to have fewer deaths from all causes than the average for this time over the past five years.

Deaths in hospitals remained below the five-year average while deaths in private homes and care homes were above it.

The figures take the total number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK to more than 61,000.

A total of 59,927 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases, according to the latest reports from the UK’s statistics agencies.

This includes 54,609 deaths in England and Wales up to October 16 (and registered up to October 24), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.

Since these statistics were compiled, a further 1,044 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 36 in Scotland, 62 in Wales and 47 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Together, these totals mean that so far 61,116 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.

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