The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there were 1,853 excess deaths in the week ending Sep 10 compared to the pre-pandemic five year average, but of those only 857 – 46 per cent – were Covid.
Health experts said that although influenza cases were currently low, there had been a rise in other infectious diseases which could be driving the increase.
There have been fears that restrictions put in place to fight Covid such as lockdowns, masks and social distancing, have lowered the population’s immunity to other diseases.
Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, said: “Why we are seeing so many excess deaths at present that cannot be explained by Covid deaths is a real concern. Looking at causes of deaths it does look like respiratory deaths are particularly high this year compared to the average for the years 2015 to 2019.