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Wales suffers 2,000 excess winter deaths

The Office for National Statistics has published its report on excess winter deaths, revealing an estimated figure of 2,000 for Wales during 2018/19, a significant increase on the previous winter figure of 1,400.

The report, which excludes deaths related to Covid 19, says respiratory diseases continue to be the main cause of excess winter deaths.

However, this year’s figure is lower than the average for the previous five years.

Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd said: “This year we have all witnessed the increase in the death rate as a result of Covid 19 and our thoughts are with each of the families that have been affected. It remains a huge concern for us that there continues to be so many largely preventable deaths occurring each winter in Wales.

“Getting protected against seasonal influenza is an important way to help protect your health.

“Those aged 50 and over should expect to be contacted by their GP practice, or they can contact their local pharmacy, to arrange a free vaccination.

“It is encouraging that, according to Welsh Government figures, 70% of the over 65s have already been vaccinated – levels substantially higher than during the same period last year.”