COVID-19 killed triple as many UK residents as pneumonia and flu combined

Coronavirus has been linked to three times as many deaths in the UK than those caused by pneumonia and the flu combined.

New data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) compared mortality rates for the three conditions and found between January and August 2020 there were 48,168 deaths linked to COVID-19 - 12.4 percent of all deaths.

In the same time period pneumonia killed 13,619 and the flu killed 394.

The number of UK COVID-19 deaths in the first eight months of 2020 is higher than the annual total of flu and pneumonia deaths in any year since 2000.

Of deaths where all three illnesses were listed on the death certificate, COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death in 96 percent of the cases.

Head of mortality at ONS Sarah Caul said the data shows how dangerous coronavirus is.

"The mortality rate for COVID-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average," she is quoted as saying by the Independent. 

The data does not yet cover September to December - the months during which influenza cases usually rise.

The UK currently has 526,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.