Over 8,000 additional people have died in their own homes since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many avoid going to hospital. Of that total, 80% died of conditions unrelated to Covid-19, according to their death certificates.
The data shows 8,196 more deaths at home in England, Wales and Scotland compared with the five-year average for this time of year, including 6,546 non-Covid deaths.
This corresponds to a drop in non-Covid deaths in hospital, leading experts to conclude that many who would usually have been admitted to a ward and died there, are instead dying at home.
Another explanation is that people maybe dying of other causes that would not have happened under normal conditions. Some people who are unwell are too scared to go to hospital. as they are aware that much of the usual NHS care had been suspended in the pandemic.
This trend of excess community deaths from non-Covid-19 causes has been seen across Europe. A report this week found that there had been about 11,600 such fatalities in Italy during its pandemic, including deaths from heart attacks and strokes.