The number of registered deaths in England and Wales has fallen below the average for this time of year for the first time in six months, figures show.
There were 10,987 deaths from all causes registered in the week ending March 12, down 605 deaths from the previous week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is 511 deaths (4.4%) below the five-year average – the average number of deaths registered during this week between 2015-19.
And it is the first time since the week ending September 4 that overall deaths have fallen below the five-year average.
There were 1,501 registered deaths involving coronavirus in the week ending March 12 – a fall of 28.7% from the previous week.
It is the lowest number since the week ending October 30.
Registered deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 also fell, by more than a third (36%) to 300, in the week to March 12.
A total of 41,758 care home residents in England and Wales have now had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.
And overall, 149,117 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,465 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,459 deaths on April 8.
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