You asked

​It says on your website 'Coronavirus deaths involving' Can I please request the data on coronavirus deaths from the actual virus and not involved or underlined with a disease.

We said

Thank you for your request.

Deaths from COVID-19 with no underlying conditions:

We have been producing Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales in the response to COVID-19. This publication provides a greater insight into the leading underlying causes of death groups for deaths occurring in England and Wales between March and June 2020.

We define a pre-existing condition here 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".

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, this can be found on table 5.

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

This publication has now been paused. However, we are looking into continuing this analysis and will be publishing this in the future.

As such, deaths from COVID-19 with no other underlying health conditions 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.

Provisional monthly death registration data for England and Wales, broken down by sex, age and country are now available in this monthly publication: Monthly mortality analysis, England and Wales. This publication contains data from July onwards and includes deaths due to COVID-19 and leading causes of death. Leading causes is also available on table 11 and includes figures for the five-year average.

Deaths 'due to' COVID-19:

Figure 2 of our Deaths registered weekly bulletin shows the number of deaths due to COVID-19 and the number of deaths involving COVID-19.

"Due to" refers only to deaths where COVID-19 was recorded as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate.

"Involving" refers to deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.

Please see the download data option at the bottom of figure 2 to see a spreadsheet with this data for each week of 2020 and 2021.

The total figures for each column have been summed below for COVID-19 deaths that were registered up to week ending 8 January 2021. COVID-19 is recorded as the underlying cause of death in around 90% of deaths where it was mentioned on the death certificate. However, these figures do not exclude other secondary causes that may have contributed to a death.

  • Deaths involving COVID-19 (underlying or secondary cause) – 86,887
  • Deaths due to COVID-19 (underlying cause) – 78,811

If you would like to discuss these statistics further, please contact