CORONAVIRUS killed three times as many people as influenza and pneumonia combined this year, new official statistics reveal.
Office for National Statistics figures show that Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in 48,168 fatalities between January and August.
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In the same time period, there were 394 deaths due to influenza while pneumonia was the cause of 13,619 fatalities.
Of all deaths during their eight month period, Covid-19 accounted for 12.4 per cent, compared with 0.1 per cent for flu and 3.5 per cent for pneumonia.
The statistics also reveal that the highest number of deaths due to flu and pneumonia occurred in January, but they were below the five-year average in every month.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, said: “More than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year where Covid-19 was the underlying cause compared to influenza and pneumonia.
“The mortality rate for Covid-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average.
“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of Covid-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020.”
In care homes, the proportion of deaths due to Covid-19 was almost double those caused by flu and pneumonia.
They recorded 14,412 deaths due to Covid-19, while 2,128 had their underlying cause listed as flu and pneumonia.
Hospitals and private homes also recorded more deaths from coronavirus than the other common illnesses.
Figures showed there were 9,829 flu and pneumonia deaths in hospitals and 30,846 caused by Covid.
Meanwhile, in private homes there were 1,871 deaths from the common viruses compared with 2,096 Covid fatalities.
Earlier in the pandemic, the threat of Covid-19 had been likened to seasonal influenza, however, these latest figures are in stark contrast to these claims.
The data published today looks at cases where people died from the illnesses rather then whether they were the underlying cause or contributing factor.
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By including all deaths where Covid-19 was an underlying cause or contributing factor, some 52,327 deaths involved the bug.
Flu and pneumonia were mentioned on more death certificates, but Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in more cases.
It comes as latest official figures show that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 14,162 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and that a further 70 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.