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image captionThe 25 deaths in the Betsi Cadwaladr area were the lowest numbers since the start of the year.

The number of deaths in Wales is back to normal levels for the first time in nearly five months, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

So-called “excess deaths” are below what we would expect to see on average in the latest week.

Deaths involving Covid-19 fell for the seventh week in a row in Wales, to the lowest weekly total since 23 October.

There were 103 deaths involving Covid, accounting for 14.9% of all deaths.

This was 35 fewer deaths than registered in the previous week.

Looking at the number of deaths we would normally expect to see at any point of the year is seen as a reliable measure of the impact of the pandemic.

So-called excess deaths, which compare all registered deaths with previous years, are now below the five-year average for the first time in nearly five months.

The number of deaths in Wales fell to 689 in the week ending 5 March. This was nine deaths (-1.3%) lower than the five-year average. Along with Yorkshire and Humber and north-east England, Wales was the only nation or region to have fewer deaths than average for the time of year.

When looking across the course of the pandemic so far, there have been 38,769 deaths from all causes, 7,649 mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate. This is 5,438 deaths above the five-year average.

When deaths occurring up to 5 March but counting later registrations are included, the total number of deaths involving Covid rises to 7,673.

The most recent deaths registered involving Covid were in north Wales. But the 25 deaths in the Betsi Cadwaladr area were the lowest numbers since the start of the year.

These included seven hospital deaths involving Flintshire patients and four each from Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Cardiff and Vale health board area saw 18 deaths, half the previous week’s figure. These included 10 hospital deaths in Cardiff.

The first death involving Covid-19 in Wales occurred in Wrexham on 15 March 2020.

The following day – exactly a year ago – there were three more deaths.

The ONS figures show us the two waves of the pandemic, with the second worse than the first.

The peak of the second wave came on 11 January, when there were 83 deaths.

This was higher than the peak of the pandemic’s first wave, when 73 deaths occurred on 12 April.

December and January brought 3,049 deaths involving Covid-19 in Wales; this is 44% higher than during April and May, which were the worst two months of the first wave.

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