Latest official Covid weekly death stats make grim reading

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Latest figures published today by NISRA show that 156 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in the week 9th to 15th January 2021, the highest weekly number since the pandemic began.

The total number of Covid-19 related deaths that occurred up to 15th January 2021 has now reached 2,186.

Two days, the 11th and 7th January 2021, saw the joint highest number of Covid-19 related deaths occurring in any one day since the start of the pandemic (28).

Of the 2,186 Covid-19 related deaths, 1,367 (62.5%) took place in hospital, 656 (30.0%) in care homes, 13 (0.6%) in hospices and 150 (6.9%) at residential addresses or other locations. The 669 deaths which occurred in care homes and hospices involved 163 separate establishments.

The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health to 15th January 2021 was 1,583. These figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas the NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates completed by medical professionals. They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.

Further analysis, which includes deaths of care home residents in hospital, shows that of the 858 deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 occurred between 18th March 2020 and 15th January 2021, 76.5% (656) occurred in a care home, with the remaining 202 occurring in hospital. On this basis, deaths of care home residents account for 39.2% of all Covid-19 related deaths; however, no assumptions can be made in relation to where or when the deceased contracted the disease.

Separate analyses, based on the date of death registration, shows that the provisional number of total deaths from all causes registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending 15th January 2021 (week 2, 2021) was 443, 125 less than week 1, and 44 more than the 5-year average (2016-2020) of 399.

Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate of 153 (34.5%) of the 443 deaths registered in week 2 2021. This is the highest weekly number of Covid-19 related death registrations since the start of the pandemic and means that the total number of Covid-19 related deaths registered to 15th January 2021 has now exceeded 2,000 (2,129).

Persons aged 75 and over accounted for 77.1% of the 2,129 Covid‑19 related deaths registered between 19 March 2020 and 15th January 2021, while those with an address in Belfast Local Government District (LGD) accounted for 460 (21.6%) of the total.

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