There were eight times the number of deaths from Covid than flu in 2020
There should be no doubt now how serious the coronavirus pandemic is.
The UK has passed 100,000 deaths, and more than 100 million people in the world have had Covid-19.
The vaccine has provided a light at the end of the tunnel, but with England still in national lockdown – there is no doubt we have a way to go yet.
In the whole year of 2020 more than 608,000 total deaths were recorded. This is the highest annual total since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
81,653 of the deaths were attributed to coronavirus.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish a full breakdown of the deaths by flu and pneumonia for 2020 in mid-2021.
But the ONS did a thorough breakdown of the deaths of people in England and Wales between January and August 2020.
They found that three times as many people died from Covid-19 than from flu and pneumonia.
Between that period there had been 48,168 deaths due to Covid-19, compared to 13,600 from pneumonia – and only 394 were due to flu.
Deaths from flu were particularly low last year – and most occurred in January 2020.
Sarah Caul, Head of Mortality Analysis, said: “More than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year where Covid-19 was the underlying cause compared to influenza and pneumonia.
“The mortality rate for Covid-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average.
“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of Covid-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020.”
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As the year progressed, it became increasingly more likely to die from coronavirus than flu.
Later in 2020, the ONS found that coronavirus was causing more than eight times the number of deaths than flu or pneumonia.
In the week to November 20 there were 2,697 deaths from Covid, and 280 from flu or pneumonia.
The number of Covid-19 deaths increased in all regions in England in that week, with the exception of east of England.
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