THE North-East has seen a higher number of 'excess deaths' during the coronavirus pandemic than in anywhere else in the country.

Latest figures show the region has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of deaths, compared with figures based on the same week, over a five-year period.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which recorded 718 deaths in the week ending May 22, said it expected the region to record around 510 deaths.

Instead, it said it had recorded a difference of 208 deaths - a 40.8 percent difference. 

Those deaths are regarded as 'excess deaths' as they are above what the ONS would normally record at that time of year.

Although not every excess death can be attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, it is likely that the majority of those fatalities were Covid-19 related.

It comes as experts believe the actual UK coronavirus death toll could be significantly higher as the details of more 'excess' deaths emerge.

Across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - 190,000 people have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

That figure is around 62,000 deaths above what would have normally been reported over the same five-year average.

Experts have since said the vast majority of the 62,000 excess deaths are Covid-19 related.

The latest figures, made available on Tuesday, confirmed the region had the UKs highest excess death percentage by a significant amount.

How the number of excess deaths in the North-East compares with the rest of the UK - correct as of June 2:

1. North-East - 40.8 percent

2. East of England - 30.3 percent

3. Yorkshire and The Humber - 28.8 percent

4. West Midlands - 27.9 percent

5. South-East - 25.2 percent

6. London - 23.6 percent

7. East Midlands - 23.5 percent

8. North-West - 22.3 percent

9. Wales - 12.7 percent

10. South-West - 8.1 percent