covid harrogate

ONS Stats continue to show COVID-19 death data without tested medical certainty

5 May 2020

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have released data for all deaths in England and Wales during the week ending 24 April 2020. (week 17)

Numbers produced by ONS are the most accurate and complete information. The data produced by the ONS are based on death certificates, which are certified by a doctor, processed and registered.  If COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate, that means that the doctor has decided according to their  medical opinion that it was the in-part the reason the person died -that means either in itself or in combination with other health conditions the person had.

This is data for all deaths, both within a hospital and in the community.

A death is attributed to COVID-19 if it is suspected and even if there is another underlying condition. That means deaths are recorded as COVID-19 without medical certainty that it is the case.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths are those deaths registered in England and Wales in the stated week where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate as “deaths involving COVID-19”. A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required.

For week ending 24 April 2020 (Week 17):

  • There were 21,997 deaths, a decrease of 354 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 16);
  • The first decrease in the number of deaths since the week ending 20 March 2020 (Week 12)
  • 11,539 more than the five-year average for Week 17
  • 8,237 (37.4% of all deaths) mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19, that doesn’t mean they were tested and confirmed as COVID-19
  • There were 7,911 deaths in care homes (all causes), which is 595 higher than previous week
  • Deaths in hospitals was 8,243, (all causes) which is 1,191 lower than previous week

For the year to date (24 April 2020):

  • Total of 175, 536 deaths
  • Of those deaths, 26,050 have mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate
  • Care homes had 5,890 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate
  • Hospitals have had 19,643 deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate


  1. Bizarre headline: the obvious/appropriate headline here is ‘ONS figures show UK COVID 19 death figures must now have exceeded 30,000’. The medical authorities were unable prove COVID 19 as a cause of death because provision for testing was woefully inadequate. A headline implying that these deaths may have been wrongly attributed as being COVID 19 related is disingenuous.

    • Joseph Kay, I’m guessing that you’re a socialist/Labour supporter with some issues about Tories? The headline is accurate and doesn’t imply anything other than what it says.

    • My 91 yr old aunt died three weeks ago of old age, they put covid on the death certificate…and a very close family friend who was riddled with cancer and dying, died the week after my aunt & also had covid put on the death certificate….so no one can tell me that this is not happening.

  2. What is precise is the number of excess deaths compared with the 5 year average for this period. Currently standing at 55,000 to 8th May and certainly
    over 60,000 by now. These are deaths that have occurred because of Covid-19 whether it is in the certificate or not.
    I know people say it is mainly the elderly etc. But remember an 83 year old has an average of 7 more years to live and many 83 year olds are still economically active.

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