There have been over 1000 “excess deaths” in Northern Ireland in the last 17 weeks, according to the latest figures published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research (NISRA).

Separate analyses based on the date of death registration, shows that the provisional number of total deaths from all causes registered in Northern Ireland in the week ending July 24 (week 29) was 307, 67 more than in week 28 and 42 more than the 5-year average of 265. Over the last 17 weeks in total, 1,040 “excess deaths”’ (deaths above the average for the corresponding period in previous years) have been registered in Northern Ireland, with the number of ‘excess deaths’ in the year to date to July 24 totalling 781.

Latest figures published today (Friday) show that four deaths involving COVID-19 occurred in the last week, from July 18-24, bringing the total of COVID-19 related deaths to 854.

For Covid-19 related deaths, those with an address in Fermanagh and Omagh Local Government District (LGD) accounted for 17 of the 844 deaths registered in the calendar year to July 24.

Of this total, 448 (52.5 per cent) took place in hospital, 349 (40.9 per cent) in care homes, eight (0.9 per cent) in hospices and 49 (5.7 per cent) at residential addresses or other locations. The 357 deaths which occurred in care homes and hospices involved 81 separate establishments.

The comparative number of deaths reported daily by the Department of Health to July 24 was 556. These figures are based on patients having previously tested positive for the virus, whereas the NISRA figures are based on the information entered on death certificates, completed by medical professionals. They may or may not have previously tested positive for the virus.

Further analysis, which includes deaths of care home residents in hospital, shows that of the 429 deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19 in the year to date to July 24, 81.4 per cent (349) occurred in a care home, with the remaining 80 occurring in hospital. On this basis, deaths of care home residents account for 50.2 per cent of all COVID-19 related deaths; however, no assumptions can be made in relation to where or when the deceased contracted the disease. 

COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate for seven (2.3 per cent) of the 307 deaths registered in week 29.  This is five more than last week (week 28) and brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths registered in the calendar year 2020 to 853.

Persons aged 75 and over accounted for two-thirds (65.4 per cent) of all deaths and 80.1 per cent of COVID‑19 related deaths registered this calendar year up to July 24.