Figures are released daily by the Department for Health

Figures are released daily by the Department for Health

There have been another 155 deaths reported from coronavirus, bringing the UK’s official death toll to 44,391

It comes as NHS England said there had been 36 deaths in hospitals reported since yesterday.

Public Health Wales said a further three people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,534.

Nicola Sturgeon said that a total of 2,489 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by one from 2,488 yesterday.

Coronavirus is likely to have brought forward some deaths of older and vulnerable people which could prompt a period of below-average deaths, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

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More than 55,000 deaths involving Covid-19 (according to the death certificate – not just where there were confirmed tests) have been recorded in the UK during the outbreak, with the virus the main reason for deaths increasing above what would normally be expected for this period.

UK Coronavirus map

The elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

The ONS said: ‘The disease has had a larger impact on those most vulnerable (for example, those who already suffer from a medical condition) and those at older ages.

‘Some of these deaths would have likely occurred over the duration of the year but have occurred earlier because of the coronavirus.

‘These deaths occurring earlier than expected could mean we start to see a period of deaths below the five-year average.’

Tuesday’s ONS figures show there were 8,979 deaths from all causes in England and Wales registered in the week ending June 26 – 314 deaths fewer than the five year average.

It is the second week in a row that weekly deaths have been below the average for this time of year.

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - JULY 04: An NHS Test and Trace form is displayed at the entrance of the Regal Moon JD Wetherspoons pub on July 04, 2020 in Rochdale, England. The UK Government announced that Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

An NHS Test and Trace form is displayed at the entrance of the Regal Moon JD Wetherspoons pub on July 4 in Rochdale (Picture: Getty)

Before the week ending June 19, the last time deaths were below average was before the lockdown in the week ending March 13.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the deaths of older people during the pandemic have been ‘catastrophic’.

She said: ‘These most vulnerable people have been at the biggest risk to the virus and should have been better protected on all levels.

‘It would be good to think that the number of deaths will fall over the coming months but we must remain cautious and make sure that our most vulnerable are protected in case there is a resurgence of the virus late in the year.

‘To do this the Government needs to refinance and reform social care so that older people at home and in care homes are safe and adequately cared for.’

Overall in England and Wales, there were 606 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week up to June 26 – the lowest number since the week ending March 27.

There have been 50,219 deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales up to June 26 (and registered by July 4), with 31,761 in hospitals, 14,852 in care homes, 2,288 in private homes, 691 in hospices, 223 in other communal establishments and 185 elsewhere.

Deaths from all causes in all settings were below the five-year average for the week ending June 26, except for in private homes, where 745 deaths were registered.

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