You asked

Please provide the following:

  1. The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 as confirmed in a laboratory test and the name of the specific laboratory test.

  2. The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 but not confirmed in a laboratory test, thereby assumed or presumed without evidence that the virus was the cause and effect of a death.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

All ONS mortality data comes from the information collected at death registration. We do not have access to the names of the specific laboratory tests used. This information may be obtainable from NHS Digital. They can be contacted via email at

The Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional publications present the number of deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributory factor in the death, using the cause codes U071 and U072.

If COVID-19 is mentioned as either cause of death or a mention on the death certificate (not necessarily cause of death or tested but was deemed present by a doctor) then it would be reported as a COVID-19 death.

Please find the following information from our recent publication Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales: deaths occurring in April 2020:

Our definition of COVID-19 includes some cases where the certifying doctor suspected the death involved COVID-19 but was not certain, for example, because no test was done. Of the 32,143 deaths with an underlying cause of COVID-19, 1,325 (4.1%) were classified as "suspected" COVID-19. Including mentions, "suspected" COVID-19 was recorded on 4.7% of all deaths involving COVID-19.