U.K. Becomes First European Country to Surpass 100,000 Covid Deaths

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “U.K. Becomes First European Country to Surpass 100,000 Covid Deaths” – below is their description.

    More than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.K., the first country in Europe to surpass the threshold.

    Deaths in London, which is at the center of the current outbreak, are running at 84% above the five-year average amid concerns a new strain of the virus is more fatal. There are 37,561 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country.

    “It’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised press conference on Tuesday evening. “I am deeply sorry for every life lost.”

    The scale of the pandemic has exceeded some of the worst predictions made a year ago. Patrick Vallance, the U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser, said in March that fewer than 20,000 deaths would be a “good outcome” for Britain.

    Johnson brought in a new lockdown earlier this month to try to prevent the spread of the variant. That’s helped reduce the average number of new cases in the past week to almost half that of the peak in early January, easing the pressure on hospitals, which have been struggling to cope with the resurgence.

    The government has faced criticism for its management of the pandemic, including that it waited too long to impose lockdowns and that it failed to get sufficient stocks of protective equipment for health workers.

    “Mistakes have been made,” said Richard Murray, chief executive at The King’s Fund, a think tank focused on health and social care. “Decisions to enter lockdown have consistently come late, with the government failing to learn from past mistakes or the experiences of other countries.”

    Johnson defended his government’s response and said everything had been done to stem the number of deaths.

    “We did everything that we could to minimize suffering and minimize the loss of life,” he said. “We will make sure we learn the lessons and reflect and prepare.”

    The U.K. has been rushing to vaccinate the population as it tries to pilot its way out of the health crisis, raising hopes that the worst of the pandemic will be behind it within months. Shots have already been given to more than six million people.

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