Covid care home deaths at highest since May after jump in fatalities over Christmas
A total of 3,144 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending January 1 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate
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Coronavirus deaths jumped over the Christmas week to their highest number for seven months.
A total of 3,144 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending January 1 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
This is up from 2,912 deaths in the week to December 25 and is the highest weekly figure since the week ending May 15.
Nearly a third (31.2%) of all deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to January 1 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.
The ONS said the number of registrations will have been affected by the Boxing Day and New Year's Day bank holidays.
Of the 3,144 deaths mentioning coronavirus on the death certificate, 2,741 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death.
Covid care home deaths were at their highest since May over Christmas week
(Image: Getty Images)
Matt Hancock promises 'great British summer' thanks to mass vaccination programme
Hope as new Covid cases fall to lowest figure in two weeks with deaths up 529
However today's figures follow more hopeful statistics yesterday where cases fell to their lowest figure in two weeks of just over 46,000.
Although tragically, deaths were up 529.
But the Health Secretary Matt Hancock also warned that the Covid pandemic is now at its "worst point", and there are 32,294 people in hospital with coronavirus – the highest lever ever and a 22 per cent rise in just a week.
A highly-contagious mutant Covid-19 strain is continuing to put the NHS under significant pressure.
Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 1 January 2021
But the Health Secretary Matt Hancock also warned that the Covid pandemic is now at its "worst point"
(Image: Getty Images)
It comes as the Health Secretary said every over-50 was to receive at least their first jab by May – a pledge to vaccinate 32million within the next 16 weeks.
So far, around 2.6 million people have received a Covid-19 vaccine first dose throughout the UK.
By the end of this month, a further 43 mass vaccination centres are planned to open – along with more GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals also planned to be set up for administering jabs – meaning everyone in England will live within 10 miles of a site.
Ministers also said 80,000 trained health workers had been drafted to help administer the vaccines and more than 200,000 community volunteers are to help with non-clinical aspects of the rollout.
Mr Hancock said: “The top four priority groups account for 88% of deaths.
"We want to reach every care home resident this month."
He promises “We’re on track to deliver on pledge for top four groups" and have "accelerated care home rollout."
The Health Secretary added vaccines are important as “I want us to have a great British summer.”
At a No10 press briefing, Professor Stephen Powis said that 1,200 pharmacies in England alone will join the vaccination roll-out.