Weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales fell in the week leading up to Christmas, but it is still too soon to see any impact in the figures of the surge in Omicron cases.

In the week ending December 24, 591 deaths registered mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is the sixth consecutive weekly fall – down 22% from the previous week – and the lowest number of deaths since the week to August 20, when the total was 570.

Coronavirus accounted for around one in 22 (4.5%) of all deaths registered in England and Wales in the latest week.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

There were 253 deaths involving Covid-19 among people aged 80 and over registered in the week to December 24 – the lowest number since August 20.

Among 70- to 79-year-olds there were 128 deaths – the lowest since August 13.

The number of care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 also fell – to 55 from 60 registered deaths in the previous week.

In total, 44,521 care home residents in England and Wales have 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.

A total of 174,961 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

Deaths have remained at a low level throughout the latest wave of cases, with the vaccine rollout playing a major role.

It is too early to tell if the surge in cases caused by the Omicron variant is affecting the number of Covid-19 deaths.

This is due to the typical length of time between infection, hospital admission and death – two to three weeks.