While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus.
According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), since July 2 there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that during that period there were 2,103 extra death registrations with ischemic heart disease, 1,552 with heart failure, as well as an extra 760 deaths with cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and aneurysm and 3,915 with other circulatory diseases.
Acute and chronic respiratory infections were also up with 3,416 more mentions on death certificates than expected since the start of July, while there have been 1,234 extra urinary system disease deaths, 324 with cirrhosis and liver disease and 1,905 with diabetes.