The number of weekly deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales has risen to more than 100 after a two-week dip, official figures show.
There were 139 deaths registered in the week ending September 18 where “novel coronavirus” was mentioned, accounting for 1.5% of all deaths, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It is the second consecutive weekly rise, with the number of deaths involving Covid-19 up 40.4% from the 99 deaths registered in the previous week.
In the week before that, the week ending September 4, numbers fell below 100 for the first time since the lockdown was introduced, with 78 deaths registered.
This is said to be due to the impact of the late bank holiday weekend in August – delaying the registration of some deaths to the following week.
The ONS said registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased in six of the nine English regions in the week ending September 18.
These were: north-west England (39, up nine on the previous week’s total); the West Midlands (15, up eight); London (13, up seven); Yorkshire & the Humber (21, up seven); north-east England (eight, up five); and the East Midlands (14, up four).
The number fell in two regions: south-east England (11, down one on the previous week’s total) and south-west England (five, down two). It was unchanged in Eastern England on eight deaths.
In Wales the weekly total increased by four, from one to five.
Deaths from all causes in hospitals, care homes and other locations were below the five-year average by 365, 68 and 18 deaths respectively, while the number of deaths in private homes was higher than the five-year average by 711 deaths.
Overall in the UK, 158 deaths were registered in the week ending September 18 involving Covid-19, 48 deaths higher than the previous week.
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, said: “The rise in registered deaths with Covid on the certificate may well be the first sign of an increase linked to the increase in infections, but we’ll have to wait for a week or two’s more data to see whether and how that rise continues.
“Another concerning feature, which is longer term, is that the number of deaths taking place at the person’s home (from any cause) continues to run at levels considerably higher than the average of the previous five years.
“That’s been the position right since the early days of the pandemic.”
The release shows that nearly 57,900 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK.
Some 52,717 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to September 18, and had been registered by September 26, the ONS data shows.
Figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland of deaths registered up to September 20, and by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency of deaths registered up to September 23, take the total to 57,860 deaths.
These are cases where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.