The number of deaths relating to coronavirus in Devon and Cornwall has fallen by 25 per cent and to the lowest level since the beginning of 2021, with none recorded in South Hams in the last week.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which relate to the week of February 6 to 12, but registered up to February 20, show that 75 of the 347 deaths registered in the two counties had COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

Deaths in Devon have dropped nearly 40 per cent week-on-week, but Cornwall has seen its numbers slightly rise.

The 75 deaths is the lowest total for five weeks, but is still the eighth highest weekly total since the pandemic began.

But the numbers across the two counties as a whole have now fallen for four weeks in a row as the ONS figures see the impact of the third national lockdown due to the time lag between infections and deaths, as well as the start of the vaccine effect following the rollout that began at the end of 2020.

Of the 75 deaths registered in week 6 (Feb 6-12), there were 40 deaths of people from Cornwall, nine in Plymouth, seven in Torbay and Teignbridge, four in East Devon, three in Exeter and Mid Devon, one in Torridge and West Devon. No deaths in the Isles of Scilly, North Devon, or the South Hams were registered.

33 of the deaths occurred in care homes, 39 in hospitals, with three at home.

Previous weeks have seen 100, 146, 150, 78, 55, 32, 46, 48, 52, 43, 43, 37, 24, 11, 13, 15, 6, 5, 2, 0, 3, 1, 2, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 15, 38, 44, 70, 85, 107, 90, 60, 16 and nine deaths registered.

In total, 1,605 deaths from coronavirus have been registered across Devon and Cornwall, with 868 in hospitals, 593 in care homes, 100 at home, three in a hospice, three in a communal establishment and four ‘elsewhere’.

So far in 2021, there have been 231 deaths in Cornwall, 75 in Plymouth, 67 in East Devon, 57 in Teignbridge, 47 in Exeter, 46 in Torbay, 25 in Mid Devon, 24 in South Hams, 14 in North Devon, 11 in Torridge and 8 in West Devon.

The figures show in which local authority the deceased’s usual place of residence was. For instance, if someone may have died in Derriford Hospital but lived in West Devon, while the death may have been registered in Plymouth, their death would be recorded in the mortality statistics for the ONS figures against West Devon.

Deaths that have occurred in hospitals following a positive coronavirus test since February 6 will be recorded in next week’s figures, as long as the deceased lived within Devon and Cornwall, the death has been registered, and Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There were 43 deaths in Devon and Cornwall’s hospitals within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the period between February 6 and 12, four higher than the ONS figures.

While the two measurements do not compare exact like-for-like details, it means that at least four of the deaths in the NHS England figures were either of people from outside Devon and Cornwall, or while they had died after a positive Covid-19 test, it did not contribute to their death.