You asked

​Please provide me with the following information:

  1. Number of people who have died from COVID 19 WITHOUT any pre-existing medical conditions;

  2. Number of people who have died from COVID 19 with pre-existing conditions

We said

​Thank you for your enquiry.

Please see Table 6a of the following publication, Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales. This provides the number of deaths involving COVID-19 by pre-existing conditions in England and Wales between March and June 2020.

The publication states that of the 50,335 deaths that occurred in March to June 2020 involving COVID-19 in England and Wales, 45,859 (91.1%) had at least one pre-existing condition, while 4,476 (8.9%) had none. COVID-19 deaths where there was no pre-existing condition between March and June 2020 are included below.

  • No pre-existing condition: England and Wales – 4476
  • No pre-existing condition: England – 4169
  • No pre-existing condition: Wales – 294

We define a pre-existing condition as the last health condition mentioned on the first part of the death certificate when it came before the coronavirus (COVID-19), or was an independent contributory factor in the death, mentioned in part II. Where only COVID-19 was recorded on the death certificate, or COVID-19 and subsequent conditions caused by COVID-19 were recorded, we refer to these deaths as having "No pre-existing conditions".

We are currently reassessing this publication and will be releasing an update soon analysing data from July onwards.

As such, data on COVID-19 deaths with no underlying health conditions by age between July and December 2020 is considered exempt under Section 22(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, whereby information is exempt from release if there is a view to publish the information in the future. Furthermore, as a central government department and producer of official statistics, we need to have the freedom to be able to determine our own publication timetables. This is to allow us to deal with the necessary preparation, administration and context of publications. It would be unreasonable to consider disclosure when to do so would undermine our functions.

This exemption is subject to a public interest test. We recognise the desirability of information being freely available and this is considered by ONS when publication schedules are set in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. The need for timely data must be balanced against the practicalities of applying statistical skill and judgement to produce the high quality, assured data needed to inform decision-making. If this balance is incorrectly applied, then we run the risk of decisions being based on inaccurate data which is arguably not in the public interest.  This will have an impact on public trust in official statistics in a time when accuracy of official statistics is more important to the public than ever before.

The final release date will be announced on our Release Calendar.