Care home COVID-related deaths have continued to fall sharply in the latest figures published by the ONS.
Weekly COVID-related deaths in care home in England and Wales fell by a quarter to 383 in the week ending 5 March.
The numbers mark the fifth consecutive week that COVID deaths have fallen in care homes following the roll-out of the government’s vaccination programme.
On a year-to-date basis, there were 31,278 deaths in care homes involving COVID-19 up to 5 March.
Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 17.4% of deaths, down from 22% in the week earlier.
The CQC reported 28,709 notifications of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes between 10 April 2020 and 12 March 2021. Of these, 157 were notified in the week up to 12 March.
Care Inspectorate Wales reported 1,890 deaths of residents involving COVID-19 in care homes between 1 March 2020 and 26 February 2021.
Independent Care Group (ICG) Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today’s fall in the COVID-19 death rate in care and nursing homes is excellent news and we hope and pray that it continues. But we are reaching a crucial time and now is not the moment for the Government to turn its back on the care sector.
“The pandemic hasn’t gone away and is still claiming the lives of loved ones. Many key elements of Government financial support for care settings against COVID-19 stop at the end of March but the reality is, coronavirus won’t stop then.
“If social care providers are to keep protecting their clients, staff and the wider community, we will continue to need that support and the Government must extend it.”