The ONS figures show that, since the week ending September 4, registered coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have been roughly doubling every fortnight.

However, the country is now entering the winter flu season, and an increase in respiratory deaths is expected. Public Health England (PHE) surveillance of respiratory diseases shows there is virtually no flu in the community at the moment. 

For the week ending October 31, out of the 76,398 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System, none tested positive for influenza. In contrast, 3,068 samples were positive for coronavirus, with an overall positivity of four per cent. 

Tuesday’s figures show that just over 59,000 deaths involving coronavirus have now been registered in the UK, although the figure of deaths “due” to coronavirus is significantly lower.

Some 53,863 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in England and Wales up to October 9, and were registered by October 17.

So far this year, 34,174 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in hospitals, 15,712 in care homes, 2,561 in private homes, 761 in hospices, 227 in other communal establishments and 205 elsewhere.

Figures published last week by the National Records of Scotland showed that 4,301 deaths involving coronavirus had been registered in Scotland up to October 11. In Northern Ireland, 915 deaths had occurred up to October 9 and had been registered up to October 14, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

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