One in three NHS hospital trusts have recorded no coronavirus deaths for a week, new research shows.
It comes after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of deaths in London from any cause had dropped below the five year average in the first week of June.
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The new research from professors at the University of Oxford found there had been no deaths in the past seven days at 49 trusts – 37 per cent of those included in the study.
And Professor Carl Heneghan and Jason Oke from the university’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine said that in the past 48 hours 50 percent of trusts had reported no deaths.
In the week ending June 5 the excess number of deaths was 732.
Prof Heneghan had previously said that we could see no deaths above seasonal average by the end of June.
Speaking to The Times, he said from June 10 to June 16 there had been 442 Covid-19 deaths reported in hospitals in England.
This is down from 752 the week before, meaning that there had been 310 fewer.
“Therefore, we should have no excess deaths by the end of the month and it is possible we don’t have any by this week if the counts above are replicated in other settings.”
This is while Dr Oke said that the North East and South West were the “most likely candidates” to follow London in returning to normal death levels.
Since March, London has seen fewer deaths than it did before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the week up to June 5 there were almost three per cent fewer people dying in the capital compared with the five-year average.
London had previously been a hot spot of the virus.
The North East reported 39 excess deaths in the latest week of figures while the South West reported 50.
The number of weekly deaths in England and Wales had been below average for the past five years before the pandemic hit.
Experts say this could be down to weaker strains of flu and milder winters.
Once the coronavirus outbreak is bought under control deaths could remain lower than the average.
Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge said it “would not be surprising” if we were to see less deaths than average.
He added:“[This is] because of a mild winter without flu, but the other thing is because there will be an element of Covid taking up some deaths that would normally happen later in the year.”
This is while Prof Heneghan added that there are always variations going on and said low numbers in 2019 would mean that more vulnerable people were living in 2020.
He said this means that in 2021 there will be less people going into that category, so there will be a regression year to year.
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