More Britons have been killed by flu than coronavirus for seven weeks

More Britons have been killed by flu and pneumonia than coronavirus for seven weeks in a row, new data reveals

  • Influenza caused more deaths in UK than Covid-19 between June 19 and July 31 
  • Flu and pneumonia killed 6,626 Britons compared to 2,992 coronavirus deaths 
  • Influenza killed almost five times as many people as Covid-19 at the end of July

More Britons have been killed by flu and pneumonia than coronavirus for seven weeks in a row, new data has revealed. 

Research published by the Office for National Statistics found influenza caused more deaths in the UK than Covid-19 between June 19 and July 31.  

In the seven-week period, 6,626 Britons were killed by flu or pneumonia – compared to 2,992 coronavirus deaths. 

At the end of last month, influenza killed almost five times as many people as Covid-19 – with 928 flu deaths recorded in the UK compared to 193 due to the pandemic. 

The last time Covid-19 recorded more deaths than flu was in the week ending June 12, when it killed 1,114 people compared to 996.

More Britons have been killed by flu and pneumonia than coronavirus for seven weeks in a row, new data has revealed

For much of the worst days of the pandemic, Covid-19 deaths far outnumbered those linked to flu or pneumonia. 

But the gap has narrowed, and flu and pneumonia became a more common cause of death for the first time since March in the week ending June 19. 

There were 219 fewer Covid-19 deaths reported than flu/pneumonia deaths. 

The two are grouped together to create an even figure for serious respiratory infections – flu season fluctuates wildly but there are other similar bugs that can affect people in similar ways. 

Flu and pneumonia deaths have also been lower than average during Britain’s epidemic, likely because people who would normally have died of those illnesses caught Covid-19 and succumbed to that instead.        

It comes as the UK recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in seven weeks on Tuesday, with 1,148 infections and a further 102 deaths across the country. 

The total number of cases reached 312,789 after the largest rise since June 21, when there were 1,221 new cases. The total number of deaths rose to 46,628. 

The new rise in cases breaches the ceiling that the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre said was acceptable to avoid ‘flare-ups’ of Covid-19, according to Sage documents.  

Official figures have also revealed that the infection rate among all age groups under 65 has been rising since lockdown was eased earlier in the summer.

For much of the worst days of the outbreak, Covid-19 deaths far outstripped those linked to flu or pneumonia. Pictured: Passengers on the London Underground on Tuesday

Among those aged 15 to 44 in England, the rate has increased by 35 per cent since July 5 – a day after ‘Super Saturday’ when bars, restaurants and cinemas reopened and a large chunk of the workforce returned to work.

Public Health England’s latest data also shows weekly infections have jumped by 40 per cent in infants during the same time period.

Meanwhile, officials have revealed they will start publishing three separate daily death tolls for Covid-19 amidst confusion over statistics pushed out by the Government. 

The Department of Health will now release measures including its heavily criticised count which records deaths of everyone who has ever tested positive for the coronavirus – regardless of how they died. 

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