Dr Jason Oke, a senior statistician at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, also said it was now possible to predict when coronavirus deaths would stop in Britain.

“There has been a steady decline in ONS deaths and if you were tempted to project that trend we are now seeing the rate dropping about 30 a day, so you can do the maths and wonder, if that continues, how much longer will we see Covid deaths.”

New data released by the ONS showed that coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales over a seven-day period have fallen by more than a third in the space of a week.

There were 3,930 deaths registered in the week up to May 8 mentioning the virus, accounting for 31.1 per cent of all deaths during those seven days.

The latest weekly figures represent a drop of 2,105 deaths – 34.8 per cent – from the previous week, when there were 6,035 deaths registered.

The ONS said the early May Bank Holiday had affected the number of registrations of deaths from all causes, with 88 deaths registered on May 8 compared with 2,950 the previous Friday. Nick Stripe, the organisation’s head of health analysis, warned that death registrations for the week ending May 8 were about 20 per cent lower because of the Bank Holiday.

Weekly coronavirus-related deaths in care homes also fell to 1,666 in the week ending May 8. This is the second weekly fall in a row, down from 2,423 deaths in the previous seven days – a decrease of 31 per cent.

But the proportion of coronavirus deaths in care homes rose, accounting for 42.4 per cent of coronavirus-related fatalities registered in England and Wales in the week ending May 8, up from 40 per cent the previous week. Hospital deaths now make up just half of the coronavirus-related fatalities.

Some 9,980 people have now died of coronavirus in care homes in England and Wales out of a total of 44,101.

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