Coronavirus has caused three times more deaths than both pneumonia and flu combined this year, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that between January and August, Covid-19 accounted for 12.4 per cent of deaths in England and Wales, whereas 3.5 per cent were deaths by pneumonia and 0.1 per cent were deaths from flu.

These figures show that there were specifically 48,168 Covid-19 deaths within the period, and just 394 deaths from influenza.

Sarah Caul, Head of Mortality Analysis, said: “More than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year where Covid-19 was the underlying cause compared to influenza and pneumonia.

“The mortality rate for COVID-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average.

“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of Covid-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020.”

The ONS figures dispels claims that the flu has the same death rate as Covid-19, especially as Covid-19 deaths in 2020 were higher than flu and pneumonia deaths in the first eight months of every year since 1959.

ONS says the data focuses on people who died due to their condition of Covid-19, flu or pneumonia, rather than deaths where the conditions were either the underlying cause or mentioned as a contributing factor.

Flu and pneumonia were mentioned on more death certificates, but the figures show Covid-19 was the underlying cause of these deaths in more cases.