Massive spike in excess deaths sparks calls for an 'urgent investigation'
MPs have called for an urgent investigation into Britain's soaring death rates as thousands more people than usual are dying each week.
Some 17,381 deaths were registered in England and Wales in the seven days to January 13 2,837 above average for the time of year.
This is the highest number of excess deaths since 3,429 in the week to February 12, 2021, when the UK was experiencing its second wave of Covid-19 infections and vaccination had only just begun.
On that occasion, deaths involving coronavirus accounted for 37 per cent of all those registered, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Conservative former minister Esther McVey asked for an 'urgent and thorough investigation' into the excess deaths
But in the most recent week, Covid-19 accounted for just 5 per cent of the total meaning other factors are likely to be driving the high level of mortality.
Health experts say this could include ambulance delays, long waits in A&E, unmet need during the pandemic and major backlogs for routine NHS care.
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