The Office for National Statistics has released new figures on the number of deaths involving coronavirus.
The data gives us the most accurate picture of where deaths are occurring.
Unlike the statistics we have heard about before now, these include every community death linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales.
According to the data, which covers seven days, 539 death certificates mentioned coronavirus, which is 4.8% of all deaths in the week up to 27 March.
That's risen from 1% of deaths the week before.
These figures seem smaller than the current total number of deaths for the UK – which stand at 5,373 – because most of the deaths from coronavirus have occurred in the last 10 days as the pandemic picks up pace.
The vast majority of coronavirus deaths are happening in hospitals – 501 of the 539 deaths analysed here – but some are occurring in hospices and care homes too, says the ONS.
Why the increase?
The latest data captures more than the hospital deaths of patients who had tested positive for coronavirus and so definitely had the infection.
It looks at community deaths – people who died at home or in residential care who doctors recorded on the death certificate as probably having Covid-19.
What does that tell us?
Experts have always said there will be more coronavirus deaths happening than those recorded in the hospital data.
Currently, there are not enough tests to check how many people in the community are infected, or how many deaths are linked to Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
So while these provisional new community figures are important to collect and analyse to help better understand Covid-19, they cannot shed much light on the true toll.
For now, the daily government figures on hospital deaths are still the most accurate measure that we have of the outbreak and how the NHS is coping.
Why do they only go up to 27 March?
It takes at least five days for most deaths to be certified by a doctor, registered and the data processed, meaning the figureRead More – Source