THE UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 119 to 45,878 today – as deaths spike in the South West and South East of England.
Another 581 people have caught the bug in Britain, bringing the total number of UK infections to 300,692.
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Today’s rise in deaths is slightly greater than last Tuesday’s, when 110 fatalities were logged.
The Tuesday before that, just 36 fatalities were recorded.
In England today, 12 deaths were confirmed by NHS England overnight, bringing the coronavirus death toll in English hospitals to 29,303.
No new deaths were recorded in Scotland or Wales, leaving the overall tolls there at 2,491 and 1,549 respectively.
Today’s rise in the UK appears greater than the rises recorded by the devolved nations due to a backlog in figures – NHS England, for example, is yet to report this backlog.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 decreased or remained the same across all English regions in the week ending July 17 – except for the South East and South West.
The South East had the largest number and highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 out of all regions in England and Wales.
Meanwhile, fewer than 300 deaths linked to Covid-19 were registered over the same week for the first time since lockdown began.
There were 295 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week ending July 17 – the lowest number registered since the week ending March 20 and down almost a fifth from 366 deaths in the previous week, the ONS said.
There were also 270 fewer deaths than the five-year average in the week ending July 17.
The number of deaths in care homes, hospitals and other communal establishments has remained below the five-year average.
However, there were 766 more deaths above what would normally be expected in private homes.
In all but two regions – the East and West Midlands – deaths were below the five-year average.
According to figures recorded by the ONS, 56,400 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK.
Some 51,366 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in England and Wales up to July 17, and had been registered by July 25.
Adding together equivalent figures on deaths registered in Scotland up to July 19 and in Northern Ireland up to July 22, this takes the UK total to 56,409 deaths, including suspected cases.
These figures are considerably higher than the figures recorded by Public Health England due to a difference in recording.