Deaths Involving COVID-19 Week 2: 11-17 January 2021

As at 17 January, 7,448 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) today.

Between 11-17 January, 368 deaths were registered which mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, a decrease of 23 deaths from the previous week.

66% of the 368 deaths registered in the latest week were of people aged 75 and over, and 10% were aged under 65.

The highest number of deaths occurred in Glasgow City with 44 followed by 39 in Edinburgh and 34 in Fife.

The majority of deaths occurred in hospitals representing 240 deaths, 97 occurred in care homes, 27 at home or in a non-institutional setting and 4 in other institutions.

To place these statistics in context, the total number of all-cause deaths registered in the week ending 17 January was 1,534, 2% lower than the average for that week in the period 2015 to 2019.

The provisional total number of deaths registered over the year 2020 was 64,084. 

This compares to an average of 57,760 over the previous five years resulting in 6,324 excess deaths.

Of the 6,834 deaths involving COVID-19 between March and December 2020, 93% had at least one pre-existing condition. 

The most common main pre-existing condition was dementia and Alzheimer’s, accounting for 28% of all deaths involving COVID-19.

After adjusting for age, people living in the most deprived areas were 2.2 times as likely to die with COVID-19 as those in the least deprived areas.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said:

“Each statistic represents heartbreak for families and friends across the country.

“Assessing trends in death registrations is difficult at this time of year due to the impact of registration office closures over the Christmas period and the increased registration activity which occurs in the following weeks. 

“Our analysis looking at deaths by date of occurrence provides a clearer picture of the trend and shows that deaths began to increase in mid-December and this has continued through the early part of January.

“This week’s report provides a provisional estimate of the number of excess deaths for the full year 2020. 

“Deaths were 11% higher in 2020 than the average of the previous five years, representing the highest level of excess deaths since 1940.”