Tuesday’s ONS figures show that 8,979 deaths from all causes in England and Wales were registered in the week ending June 26 – 314 fewer than the five-year average.

It is the second week in a row that weekly deaths have been below the average for this time of year. Before the week ending June 19, the last time they were below average was before the lockdown, in the week ending March 13.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, said the deaths of older people during the coronavirus crisis have been “catastrophic”.

She said: “These most vulnerable people have been at the biggest risk of the virus and should have been better protected on all levels.

“It would be good to think that the number of deaths will fall over the coming months, but we must remain cautious and make sure that our most vulnerable are protected in case there is a resurgence of the virus late in the year.

“To do this, the Government needs to re-finance and reform social care so that older people at home and in care homes are safe and adequately cared for. “

The figures show that registered deaths involving coronavirus had dropped in all but one region in England and Wales in the week ending June 26.

In the north-east, there were two more deaths registered compared with the previous week.

All regions except the north-west, the East Midlands and the north-east saw overall registered deaths below those that would usually be expected for this time of year.

For the sixth week running, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 was highest in the north-west. The East Midlands had the highest proportion of deaths involving the virus – 11.1 per cent of all deaths.

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