Statistics out from the Office for National Statistics show coronavirus has been the leading cause of death in England for the second month in a row, accounting for about one in five deaths in December 2020.
Also, the statistics show that total deaths for all causes in December 2020 were about 25% higher than the five-year average in England and that deaths from coronavirus were 2.5 times higher in the most deprived parts of the country compared to the least.
Commenting on these figures, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: ‘To all the deniers and spreaders of disinformation, these figures clearly bring home that we are in an exceptional COVID emergency, with 10,973 people dying from the disease last month and with coronavirus serving as the leading cause of death yet again.
‘NHS workers across the country are doing everything they can to care for the higher volumes of patients they are seeing, whether they have coronavirus or not, but we are in the middle of a national health crisis and they need the public’s ongoing support to abide by the lockdown rules.
‘Of particular alarm is the graver impact that coronavirus continues have on people who live in more deprived communities.
‘The NHS sees the impact of these deep-rooted inequalities on a daily basis and a concerted effort is required across all areas of public policy to address the inequalities highlighted by the pandemic.
‘For its part, the NHS, through the vaccination programme, will do all it can to target and engage with those communities deemed to be at the greatest risk.
‘However, vaccination is still a longer-term path out of this pandemic. We need a consistently performing test and trace system and for everyone to be supported as much as possible to self-isolate if they could have the disease.’
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