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Covid-19 jumps to third leading cause of death in England

By Ian Jones, PA

Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in England last month, the highest ranking since March, new figures show.

A total of 2,162 deaths were due to coronavirus in August, the equivalent of 5.3% of all deaths registered in England, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The leading cause of death was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (4,417 deaths), followed by ischaemic heart diseases (3,982 deaths).

Covid-19 was the leading cause of death in England every month from November 2020 to February 2021.

In March it dropped from the top spot to third place, then fell to ninth in April, 24th in May and 26th in June.

But it rose to ninth in July, before returning to third place last month.

August also saw 9.9% more deaths than usual registered in England, compared with the pre-pandemic average for the month.

This is the highest percentage of extra deaths – or “excess deaths” – since February.

In Wales, Covid-19 was the seventh leading cause of death in August, up from 22nd place in July and the highest ranking since March.

Covid-19 accounted for 70 deaths in Wales last month, or 2.7% of the total registered.

Ischaemic heart diseases was the leading cause (316 deaths), followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (276).

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