You asked

Between 5th March and 30th April 2020, with regards to the stated total number of COVID 19 related deaths could you please confirm the following:

  1. Total number of deaths of people who were given a test and had a positive result for COVID 19 (not simply assumed and recorded on a death certificate)

  2. Total number of deaths of people who were not given a test or had a negative result but still had COVID 19 recorded on death certificate.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

Unfortunately, we do not hold the information you have requested. Information on whether the deceased was tested for COVID-19 is not available on the death certificate. Therefore we do not have access to this information.

However, you may find the following publications and information regarding death registration useful.

Our weekly deaths publications present the number of deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributory factor in the death, using the cause codes U071 and U072.

If COVID-19 is mentioned as either cause of death or mentioned on the death certificate (not necessarily cause of death or tested but was deemed present by a doctor) then it would be reported as a COVID-19 death.  A death can have multiple causes of death on the death certificate; however the number of overall deaths is based on the numbers of deaths registered and will not double account due to cause.

All our mortality data comes from the information collected at death registration. All of the conditions mentioned on the death certificate are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). From all of these causes an underlying cause of death is selected using ICD-10 coding rules. The underlying cause of death is defined by WHO as:

a) the disease or injury that initiated the train of events directly leading to death, or

b) the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury

We are responsible for the provision of COVID-19 mortality statistics for England and Wales. You can find this information in Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales: March 2020

The latest publication April Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales shows between 1 March and 30 April 2020, there were 126,748 deaths that occurred in England and Wales and were registered by 5 May 2020. Of these, 26.7% involved the coronavirus (COVID-19) (33,841 deaths). The doctor certifying a death can list all causes in the chain of events that led to the death and pre-existing conditions that may have contributed to the death. Using this information, we determine an underlying cause of death. More information on this process can be found in our user guide. In the majority of cases (32,143 deaths, 95.0%) when COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, it was found to be the underlying cause of death.  Our definition of COVID-19 includes some cases where the certifying doctor suspected the death involved COVID-19 but was not certain, for example, because no test was done. Of the 32,143 deaths with an underlying cause of COVID-19, 1,325 (4.1%) were classified as "suspected" COVID-19. Including mentions, "suspected" COVID-19 was recorded on 4.7% of all deaths involving COVID-19.

Our new Customise my data service will also provide up to date weekly counts of Deaths involving COVID-19.