The number of coronavirus deaths registered each week in England and Wales is rising again, new figures show.
A total of 2,986 deaths registered in the week to December 18 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is up from 2,756 deaths in the week to December 11 – a jump of 8%.
The increase follows two weeks in which the number of deaths had fallen.
Six regions of England recorded a week-on-week rise in the number of Covid-19 deaths.
In south-east England, 425 deaths were registered in the week to December 18 – up sharply from 294 in the previous week, and the highest number since the week to May 15.
London had 241 coronavirus deaths – again, the highest number for the region since May 15, and up from 200 in the previous week.
Eastern England had 237 Covid-19 deaths, up from 201 and the highest since the week to May 22.
The other three regions recording a rise were Yorkshire & the Humber (394, up from 390), the East Midlands (337, up from 334), and south-west England (200, up from 162).
North-east England, north-west England and the West Midlands all recorded a week-on-week fall.
The ONS figures also show that 76,669 deaths involving Covid-19 had taken place in England and Wales up to December 18, with 454 occurring on November 18 – the “deadliest day” so far in the second wave of the virus.
These figures are likely to increase once further deaths for this period have been registered.