The number of weekly coronavirus deaths recorded in England and Wales has risen to its highest level in five months.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a total of 668 deaths, which were registered in the week of August 27, mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.
This is a 17% increase from the previous week and the highest number since the record of 719 deaths for the week ended March 26.
The death toll had fallen to 84 in the week ended June 11.
The latest figures show the impact of the third wave of Covid-19, which began in the UK in May and has resulted in an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases and a smaller but steady increase in hospital patients.
However, the death toll is still well below the level of the peak of the second wave.
In the week ending January 29, 8,433 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded in England and Wales.
The relatively low number of deaths in the third wave compared to the second wave of the virus so far reflects the success of the nationwide introduction of coronavirus vaccines.
According to the latest research from Cambridge University and Public Health England, vaccination in England has averted an estimated 105,900 direct deaths.
However, more people are still dying than usual at this time of year.
The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales for the week ending August 27 was 12.1% above the five-year pre-pandemic average, adding 1,111 more deaths, according to the ONS.
It is the eighth week in a row that the ONS has reported additional deaths or “excessive deaths”.
The number of surplus deaths in private homes in England and Wales since the pandemic began is now 68,411, according to an analysis by the PA news agency.
Of that number, only 8,249, or 12%, were deaths involving Covid-19.
A total of 158,418 deaths have now occurred in Great Britain, in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, said the ONS.
The highest number in a single day was 1,484 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8, 2020.