Weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales have fallen below 1,000, and to the lowest level since October, figures show.
There were 963 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending March 19 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is the lowest number since the week ending October 16 and the first time the weekly death toll has fallen below 1,000 since the following week.
The figure is down 36% on the previous week’s total, with about one in 11 (9.3%) of all deaths registered in the latest week mentioning coronavirus on the death certificate.
The latest figures take the UK Covid-19 death toll to more than 150,000.
A total of 150,116 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Overall, 10,311 deaths were registered in the week to March 12, 8.0% below the average for the corresponding period in 2015-19.
It is the second week in a row that the overall number of deaths has been below the five-year average.
Prior to the two most recent weeks, the last time deaths had been below average was in the week to September 4.
Deaths involving Covid-19 among people aged 80 and over have now fallen by 90% since the second-wave peak, the figures suggest.
A total of 536 Covid-19 deaths in the 80 and over age group occurred in England and Wales in the week ending March 12, down from 5,349 deaths in the week ending January 22.
Deaths for those aged 75-79 dropped 88% in the same period, compared with falls of 87% for those aged 70-74 and 83% for both those aged 65-69 and 60-64.
Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 have fallen more than a third (35%) in a week, to 195 deaths in the week ending March 19.
Since the second wave peak for care home resident deaths – the week to January 29 – they have fallen 92%.
Deaths that occurred in the most recent week of reporting – the week to March 19 – are still being registered.
A total of 41,953 care home residents in England and Wales have now had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.