The national lockdown may have indirectly caused 16,000 excess deaths in two months, according to government analysts.
The new report says a reluctance to attend A&E and difficulties accessing medical assistance likely meant that for every three deaths from coronavirus itself, a further two occurred because of the wider impact of the lockdown.
The findings provide a possible explanation for the prime minister's recent claim that another full national lockdown would only be considered as a "nuclear option".
The estimates, made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and analysts from several government departments, suggest there were 38,500 excess deaths in England connected to COVID-19 between March and 1 May.
However, the report concludes 41% of those deaths were the result of missed medical care rather than the virus itself.
Of the 16,000 deaths, the paper estimates 6,000 were as a result of a "significant reduction in A&E attendances and emergency admissions".
It states: "Some of this is unmet need, possibly due to patients' reluctance to seek medical attention or other changes to protocols."
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The report says the other 10,000 excess deaths likely occurred in care home settings due to patients having been discharged from hospitals, or not wanting to be transferred to hospital.