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Covid deaths: Top 5 UK hotspots amid fourth wave fears - see full list

The worst-hit regions for Covid deaths in England and Wales have been revealed, amid fears of a devastating surge in infections this winter.

A total of 235 deaths that mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate were registered in the week to September 23, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 22% on the previous week and is the lowest total since the start of June - although the latest figures will have been affected by the bank holiday on September 19 for the Queen's funeral, when most register offices were closed.

This means fewer deaths were registered than would normally be the case.

The West Midlands topped the list of regions for the highest number of registered Covid deaths at 37, followed by the South East of England at 35 and the South West at 25.

Scroll down to the list below for a full breakdown of the UK regions with the highest number of Covid deaths.

A total of 235 deaths that mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate were registered in the week to September 23 (Getty Images)

Other areas that came within the top five include the North West and London, both at 24, and the East of England at 23.

It is too soon to see any impact in death registrations of the recent rise in Covid-19 infections in England and Wales.

This is because the trend in deaths always lags behind the equivalent trend in infections, due to the length of time between someone catching the virus and becoming seriously ill, as well as the time it takes for deaths to be registered.

Registrations climbed during much of June and July following the wave of infections caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of Covid-19.

The figures come amid fears of a devastating surge in infections this winter (file photo) (NurPhoto/PA Images)

The figures peaked at 810 deaths in the week to July 29, since when they have been on a downwards trend, despite a recent rise in infections.

The peak was well below the level seen during the Alpha wave in January 2021, when weekly deaths reached nearly 8,500.

High levels of Covid antibodies among the population - either from vaccination or previous infection - mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus this year has stayed low.

Covid-19 patient numbers are also starting to rise again (file photo) (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Figures published last week by the ONS showed that Covid-19 infections are continuing to increase in England and Wales, though levels are still well below those reached during the BA.4/BA.5 wave.

In England, the number of people in private households testing positive for coronavirus in the week to September 17 was 857,400, or around one in 65 - up from 766,500, or one in 70, in the seven days to September 14.

Other areas that came within the top five included London at 24 registered deaths in the week to September 23 (file photo) (REX/Shutterstock)

Covid-19 patient numbers are also starting to rise again.

Hospital admissions have jumped by almost double in a week, with a total of 7,024 people with coronavirus in hospital as of 8am on September 28, according to NHS England.

The number is half the 14,000 in mid-July at the peak of the wave of infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

Commuters wear face masks as they arrive at Paddington Station in November last year (Getty Images)

The latest figures come as fears are raised among the medical community over the approaching colder weather pushing up the number of infections.

The most common symptom is still a sore throat, which affects two thirds of positive cases, but fever and loss of smell are now much rarer, affecting less than one in six.

And recent data from the ZOE Health Study suggests an average of one in 32 people in the UK were likely to have symptomatic Covid-19 at the start of last week.

Professor Tim Spector, scientific co-founder of ZOE, said: “It’s clear from ZOE Health Study data that we’re now seeing an autumn wave of Covid-19, combined with increases in hospital admissions.

People wear face masks as they queue to enter a bank in Leeds in July 2020 (AFP via Getty Images)

"We are already at rates last seen in the June wave.

"With rates on the rise, especially in the vulnerable elderly age groups, the impact on hospitalisations could be higher.

"However, the youngest age group are showing possible early signs of case numbers slowing.

"Children tend to be a leader of infection trends, so if this continues next week it is possible that the Covid wave might not be as bad as previously predicted."

The NHS has updated its guidance to suggest that all over-50s be offered a further dose of the Covid-19 booster and a flu vaccine this autumn (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Experts are particularly concerned about the spread of the flu virus this winter, as fewer people have built up the necessary immunity to the disease after a few winters of socialising less due to the pandemic.

The NHS has updated its guidance to suggest that all over-50s be offered a further dose of the Covid-19 booster and a flu vaccine this autumn, as they are among those most at risk.

Prof Spector added: "We are likely to be hit with a combination of viruses.

"With the increase in colds and rhinovirus, as well as Covid-19, and the likelihood of a major seasonal flu epidemic, it’s especially important to keep vulnerable people properly protected.

"I advise everyone eligible to get the latest autumn Covid-19 booster as well as the flu jab to provide protection from serious illness and hospitalisation, and to avoid poorly ventilated areas without FFP mask protection."

Where are the UK regions with the highest number of Covid deaths?

Registered Covid deaths in England and Wales by region of usual residence, in the week up to September 23:

  • West Midlands - 37
  • South East - 35
  • South West - 25
  • North West England - 24
  • London - 24
  • East of England - 23
  • Yorkshire and the Humber - 21
  • East Midlands - 18
  • Wales - 17
  • North East England - 10

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