Covid now 31st leading cause of death in Wales

By Steve Duffy
BBC News

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Covid-19 has now dropped to the 31st leading cause of death in Wales, latest mortality analysis shows.

For six of the previous 14 months, Covid-19 was the biggest cause of death in Wales.

There were 15 deaths due to Covid in May - 0.6% of all deaths, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed.

The monthly Covid mortality rate of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 was the lowest since the pandemic began.

However, Covid is still the leading cause of death over the course of the past 15 months.

Mortality rate due to Covid-19 in Wales. Deaths per 100,000 people in Wales.  Months as leading cause of death in red. Age-standardised mortality rate, with Covid underlying cause of death.

Covid was the 18th leading cause of death in Wales in April, but it has fallen again.

It was the leading cause of death over four months of the second pandemic wave, up to February.

Heart disease remains the biggest cause of death - while flu and pneumonia remain above Covid as a cause for a second month, although this is still half the five-year average.

In deaths due to Covid - where it was given by doctors as the underlying cause of death - the mortality rate in Wales in May was lower than England and all English regions, apart from the south west and East Midlands.

Covid-19 mortality rates in UK. Total deaths per 100,000 people over pandemic.  Age-standardised rates are for 15 months of pandemic up to May 2021. Crude rate covers period up to 4-15 June. .

In the 15 months of the pandemic, it was also lower than England and all English regions except the south east and east.

Deaths due to Covid fell by 57.1% in Wales in May compared to the previous month.

Numbers are now too small for a breakdown on a local level. The highest number of Covid deaths in May were six in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area, which also has the highest mortality rate over the course of the pandemic - 264.5 deaths per 100,000 over 15 months.

Over the course of the pandemic, there were 6,893 deaths due to Covid in Wales, up to the end of May.

When we look at deaths when Covid was a factor and not the underlying cause, there were 21 deaths involving Covid in May in Wales - 0.9% of all registered deaths.

Latest weekly figures from ONS showed deaths involving Covid dropping to their lowest level since September, while deaths overall have been below average for 13 of the last 14 weeks.

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