Despite a surge of small spikes in the number of deaths in the last month on a week-by-week basis, overall levels remain close to those recorded last year, says the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI).
The latest update from the CMI's mortality monitor yesterday (15 September) - the first in a month - covers weeks 33 to 36 of 2020 (8 August to 4 September) and is based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics.
There were nearly 700 more deaths registered in weeks 33 and 34 combined than if death rates had been the same as in those same weeks last year.
This is likely to be due to the heatwave from August 7 to 12, the CMI noted.
An ‘artificial low' was recorded over the August bank holiday weekend as it fell in week 36 this year and week 35 in 2019. It is therefore "not helpful to consider these weeks in isolation", the CMI said.
Mortality projections committee chair Cobus Daneel said: "Deaths in August remained close to normal levels. We will continue to closely monitor the figures, particularly given recent increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations."
The CMI considered weeks 33 to 36 together and determined there were 2% fewer deaths registered than if death rates had been the same as corresponding weeks of 2019.
In the previous four-week period, weeks 29 to 32, the mortality monitored showed deaths were 4% lower than expected.
The total number of deaths in the UK from the start of the coronavirus pandemic to 4 September if mortality rates were similar to those experiences last year is now 60,600.
This is a decrease of around 4,000 from the peak at 12 June, 2020.
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