By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Published: 06 Sep 2022 • 13:59
Accident and Emergency queue - Andrius Kaziliunas Shutterstock.com
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday, September 6 show that 453 deaths due to COVID-19 were registered across England and Wales for the week ending August 26.
The number is down from a summer high of 810 recorded in the week ending July 8, although infection rates remain high. This trend is said to be due to the high rates of vaccination, the building of natural immunity and the severity of the Omicron virus, which is not as dangerous as its predecessors.
The rollout of booster vaccinations began this week across England and Wales ahead of what health officials fear will be a bad winter. For the time being only the vulnerable and those in or working in care homes are being offered the jab.
Although COVID-19 fatalities have fallen the number of excess deaths across England and Wales remains high, more than 16 per cent above the norm.
According to health officials, the higher than usual number of deaths is a result of other health issues including heart and respiratory problems. The staffing issues that are being experienced within the care and health sector are also said to be contributory factors although there is no official evidence to confirm that view.
The UK continues to experience staff shortages across most industries, however, the health and care sector are the worst hit. With a shortage of some 50,000 nurses and thousands of doctors, patient care is variable. Add to that the problem within the care sector, which continues to see bed blocking further exacerbating the problem.
Experts say funding is no longer a problem in the health sector but that the availability of beds and health professionals is hindering the ability of the sector to cope.
Whilst the news that UK COVID-19 related deaths continue to fall is good, it is clear that much more will need to be done to ensure both the health and care sectors are able to cope.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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