A further significant drop in the number of COVID-19 related deaths has been revealed in the latest weekly figures published by the ONS.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths fell by more than a third, to 705 in England and Wales, in the week ending 29 May, from 1,090 in the prior week. The decline follows a similar drop of more than a third last week and marks the fifth consecutive weekly fall since the peak of the crisis at the end of April.
Cumulative deaths involving COVID-19 amounted to 12,828 in the week up to 29 May in England, with an additional 626 fatalities in Wales.
The CQC, meanwhile, said there were 11,614 death notifications involving COVID-19 between 10 April and 5 June, of which 424 occurred in the week up to 5 June.
The Care Inspectorate Wales recorded 486 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes between 17 March and 5 June, of which 24 occurred in the week up to June.
Noting that the pandemic was “now on the wane”, LaingBuisson chair William Laing chair has predicted there will be virtually no COVID-related deaths by the end of this month.
In his latest analysis, Williams also projected that COVID-19 related care home deaths will be around 34,000 by the end of this month, 57% of the expected 59,000 total in England.
William said care homes had suffered “collateral damage” as an unintended consequence of the decision on March 19 to clear hospital beds and focus on COVID-19.
He said the absence of normal medical care for care homes and a lack of PPE during the height of the crisis was a scandal that was just emerging.
His analysis predicts care home occupancy will have dropped by 11%, or 34,000, below its pre-COVID baseline to 280,000 by the end of June.
William said: “The whole sector, already in a fragile state in less affluent areas from a decade of austerity, will be under intense financial pressure in the coming months, not only from added costs but also from loss of income as a result of reduced occupancy.”
The LaingBuisson chair said the sector will be looking for “substantially more financial support from the government than is on the table now, as well as more effective distribution of the money that has been allocated”.