Coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have dropped dramatically in the latest weekly figures to 217 – a fall of more than 25% on the previous seven days.
It is the lowest number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the last 18 weeks and a 26.4% decrease on the previous week, when 295 deaths involved the virus.
The Office For National Statistics said in the country overall, 68 more deaths had been registered in the week ending July 24 compared with the previous week.
However, there were 161 fewer deaths in week 30 of the year when compared with the five year average of previous years, the organisation said. And it is the sixth week in a row that deaths were below the average.
In England, the number of deaths involving coronavirus decreased across all the regions, except for Yorkshire and The Humber and the East Midlands.
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In Wales, the total number of deaths was one lower than the five-year average, while the number of deaths involving Covid-19 decreased to seven deaths registered – down on 11 the previous week and the lowest number registered in 18 weeks.
The latest figures, published this morning, show that more than 56,600 deaths involving the virus have now been registered across the UK.
51,596 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to July 24, and had been registered by August 1.
Figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland showed that 4,201 deaths involving the virus had been registered in Scotland up to July 26, while 854 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland up to July 24 (and had been registered up to July 29) according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Together, these figures mean that so far 56,651 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.
This is a breaking story – more to follow.