Covid was the 24th leading cause of death in England in May – and made up 1% of all fatalities

COVID was the 24th leading cause of death in England in May – making up less than 1 per cent of all fatalities.

Deaths from Covid fell rapidly throughout last month, despite cases rising due to the Delta variant, data shows.

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The Office for National Statistics found the virus moved from ninth leading cause of death last month, to 24th this month.

From November to February it was the biggest killer for the country.

But instead last month heart disease was the biggest killer, with dementia next.

Flu and pneumonia are causing three times as many deaths as Covid now.

But while the deaths due to Covid have plummeted, the disease has taken 48,397 lives in England.

Cases of the Delta variant have soared by 80 per cent in a week to more than 76,000, new data shows.

The strain is spreading among the young and unvaccinated, experts say.

PHE said 99 per cent of new cases are the Delta variant, meaning it the most dominant type of coronavirus circulating.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Cases are rising rapidly across the country and the Delta variant is now dominant. 

“The increase is primarily in younger age groups, a large proportion of which were unvaccinated but are now being invited to receive the vaccine."

But deaths have not surged, with the vaccine to thank for no serious rise in severe disease or hospitalisation.

Also showing promising signs is England's R rate – which stayed the same on from last week.

It could be as high as 1.4 and is no lower than 1.2, scientists said today, which is the same estimate given for last week.

It comes as:

  • All over 18s can book their vaccines from today
  • Ministers are in talks with football officials about allowing foreign executrices to come over to watch the final – with the PM vowing to make some "accommodations"
  • This interactive map shows how many cases of the Delta variant have been diagnosed in your area so far
  • Double-jabbed Brits could go on holiday from next MONTH with vaccine passports
  • Covid lockdown ‘could end two weeks early on July 5 if data continues to improve'

It comes after an infection survey this week suggested early signs the surge in cases recently is levelling off.

The lowest possible figure in some regions has lowered to 1.0, which is a promising indication.

It comes as lockdown rules are unlikely to be lifted on July 5, Boris Johnson suggested today.

The PM was asked if he was hopeful of all rules being lifted by July 19 – which he has said is the "terminus date" for rules to be torn up.

He faced a backlash from MPs and the public for pushing back the lockdown end date earlier this week.

He said it was to get more jabs in arms and give Britain a better chance of fighting off another wave of Covid – as infections are on the rise again.

And the PM said this afternoon on a visit to Yorkshire: "We are very confident that we'll be able to go through with Step Four of the roadmap on the timetable that I've set out, with July the 19th, as I've said as a terminus date.

"I think that's certainly what the data continues to indicate."

Today all over 18s can finally book their jabs as the vaccine rollout hits its final stages.


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