The number of weekly registered coronavirus deaths has risen beyond 400 and increased by a third in the space of seven days, official figures show.
Some 438 deaths mentioning “novel coronavirus” were registered in England and Wales in the week ending October 9, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is a rise of 36% (117 deaths) from the previous week – which saw the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since early July.
The ONS figures show that, since the week ending September 4, registered coronavirus deaths have been roughly doubling every fortnight.
The number of Covid-19 registered deaths increased in Wales and in all English regions except the East and the South East.
The North West saw the largest number of coronavirus deaths registered – 153, or 35% of the total, and the largest weekly increase (47 deaths).
It is the highest number for the region since the week ending June 12, according to the ONS.
In north-east England, 60 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to October 9, which again is the highest for the region since the week to June 12.
In London, the South East, the South West and the East, the overall number of deaths was below the average over five years for this period.
Of the 438 deaths, the majority occurred in hospitals (342), with 63 taking place in care homes, 28 at home, three in hospices and two elsewhere.
So far this year, 34,174 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in hospitals, 15,712 in care homes, 2,561 in private homes, 761 in hospices, 227 in other communal establishments and 205 elsewhere.
Tuesday’s figures show that just over 59,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK.
Some 53,863 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred in England and Wales up to October 9, and were registered by October 17.
Figures published last week by the National Records of Scotland showed that 4,301 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to October 11, while 915 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland up to October 9 (and had been registered up to October 14), according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Together, these figures mean that so far 59,079 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.
Deputy director of research at the Nuffield Trust Sarah Scobie said: “As more areas of the country prepare to face stricter curbs on socialising it is not a surprise that we see the number of deaths registered attributed to Covid-19 creep upwards.
“The North West of England, currently subject to the highest level of measures, accounts for the largest share of this increase.
“Sadly, we can only expect this trend to continue over the coming weeks and months as more cases translate into hospitalisations.”
She added that investigation is needed to understand the role that patient choice or reluctance to access services may play in the “stark increase” of deaths from all causes at home.
The NHS Confederation said it is too early to tell whether the Government’s interventions are having an impact on deaths, as the ONS figures only cover up to October 9.
Director of policy Nick Ville said: “We know some hospitals are already having to scale back the number of non-urgent procedures they are able to perform and plan for because of growing cases of the disease.
“This is happening earlier than they had anticipated and while their capacity and productivity is constrained already because of necessary infection control measures.
“The NHS has never been, and should never be, a Covid-only service, but politicians will need to be mindful that the growing prevalence of the virus will have an impact on what the service is able to deliver safely over the next few months, and that the aftermath of the pandemic will be felt for many years to come.”