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Spain had Europe's highest national mortality peak, with deaths at the start of April soaring 138.5% above the five-year average, nearly two-and-a-half times the usual number, according to analysis of figures from British authorities and the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat.
By the week ending May 29, the cumulative death rate in England was 7.55 percent higher than the average death rate for the same period between 2015 and 2019.
The country experienced the longest continuous period of excess deaths as well as the highest levels, a comparison of 23 European countries found.
Birmingham had the highest peak rate of any British city at 250 per cent above average on the week ending on April 17.
Spain ranked second at 6.65%, followed by Scotland (5.11%), Belgium (3.89%) and Wales (2.78%).
The biggest regional spikes were in central Spain and northern Italy.
Experts say excess mortality rates, defined as the number of deaths above what would be expected in a five-year average, are a more effective way of assessing how badly a country has been hit by Covid-19.
The findings are important because they are the first accurate measurement of coronavirus death rates internationally, allowing scientists to compare the UK's own rate against the global average. It turns out these might have been an over-exaggeration because people who had been tested positive, but had since recovered, were still being counted as Covid-19 deaths.
BORIS Johnson has defended England having the highest excess deaths in Europe and insisted the United Kingdom has made huge progress on driving the numbers down.
Asked about the high death rate on Thursday, Johnson said "this country has had a massive success now in reducing the numbers of those tragic deaths", and urged people to be vigilant about maintaining social distancing.