LONDON — The coronavirus killed three times as many people as the flu and pneumonia in England and Wales during the first eight months of this year, new data released by Britain’s Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday.
Research shows that there were more than 48,000 deaths from covid-19 between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, compared with 13,619 deaths from pneumonia and 394 from influenza.
While flu and pneumonia were listed on more death certificates than the coronavirus, covid-19 was named as the underlying cause for three times as many recorded deaths.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, said the death toll for covid-19 was “significantly higher” than the rates recorded from pneumonia and influenza this year and also the five-year average.
“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of COVID-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020,” Caul said.
The organization reported that the proportion of deaths from covid-19 in care home facilities was 30 percent — almost double the amount linked to flu and pneumonia at 15.2 percent.
Those over the age of 85 were found to be most at risk of dying from the infection.
The findings contradict claims frequently made by those skeptical of the pandemic that the coronavirus carries a similar risk as the common cold or flu.