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Deaths Involving COVID-19 Weeks 52 & 53: 21 Dec to 3 Jan

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As at 3rd January, 6,686 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) today.

Between 21st December to 3rd January 383 deaths were registered that mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate.

The number of deaths for the week, 21st to 27th December, was 200 and 183 deaths were registered in the following week from 28th December to 3rd January.

As there were fewer registrations than usual in these weeks due to public holidays, death registrations are likely to be lower than the actual numbers of deaths that occurred in these weeks.

The statistics for 28th December to 3rd January show that 75% of the 183 deaths registered in the latest week were of people aged 75 and over, and 8% were aged under 65.

The majority of deaths occurred in hospitals representing 111 deaths, 63 occurred in care homes and 9 at home or in a non-institutional setting.

To place these statistics in context, the total number of all-cause deaths registered in the week ending 3 January was 1,156; and for the previous week it was 1,205. 

Both weeks were 14% higher than the average over the previous five years.

Deaths from respiratory and circulatory causes and dementia/Alzheimer’s were lower than average for this time for year; resulting in the number of excess deaths (138) in the latest week being lower than the number of deaths where COVID-19 was the underlying cause.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said:

“These statistics show the continuing grief that the virus is causing in our communities.

“Although the statistics for weeks 52 and 53 show a slight fall in the number of COVID-19 related deaths, there were fewer registrations than usual in these weeks due to public holidays.

“As a result, the number of registered deaths is likely to be an undercount from the impact of public holidays on registration activity.

“We expect figures to increase over the next fortnight as registration activity returns to normal.”

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