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The death toll could be approximately 170,000

When looking at the total number of deaths from the coronavirus, the official numbers count the deaths in three different ways, each giving a slightly different number.

First, government figures – those reported every day – count people who died within 28 days of testing positive for the coronavirus. This number is more than 145,000.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics figures, the UK has now seen over 169,000 deaths in total – that’s all those deaths where the coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate even if the person had not been tested for the virus.

The third metric counts all deaths in addition to the usual number for that time of year – that number was more than 140,000 as of November 19.

In total, 13,743 deaths were recorded in the week ending November 19, which is 16% more than the five-year average.

Of the total deaths, 1,088 were related to the coronavirus, lower than the previous week.

There have been more Covid-related deaths than ‘excess’ deaths since the start of the pandemic, which means non-Covid deaths must be below normal levels.

This may be because of last winter’s mild flu season – due to less travel and more social distancing – and because some people who may have died from other causes there was no pandemic, died from Covid.

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