Paramedics work in an ambulance parked outside the Royal London Hospital in east London on January 21, 2021.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – The official UK death toll from the coronavirus pandemic hit 100,000 on Tuesday. That was the grim milestone reached as a recent surge in infections continued to put pressure on hospitals and emergency services.
The latest government data showed an additional 1,631 people had died within 28 days of testing positive. To date, the UK has had over 3.6 million infections.
The UK has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic that hit the country almost a year ago. The first two reported Covid-19 cases occurred on January 31, 2020 in the tourist city of York, in northern England.
Now, a year later, the UK is in its third national lockdown, battling an increase in infections and subsequent hospitalizations and deaths caused by a more communicable variant of the virus. The mutation, first discovered in the south-east of England in September 2020, then spread to London and is now responsible for the majority of new infections in Great Britain. This has resulted in more people going to the hospital and putting the health system under extreme pressure.
The UK has the fifth highest number of cases in the world after the US, India, Brazil and Russia, according to Johns Hopkins University. France with around 3.1 million cases, followed by Italy and Spain with around 2.5 million cases each, but the UK has a higher death toll than its European neighbors.
Experts have attributed the UK’s harsh experiences during the pandemic to a number of factors, including the subsequent initial lockdown that caused it to struggle to gain control of the fast-spreading virus and hesitation about the following two lockdowns when the cases had already increased again, periods of relaxation. A poor testing and traceability system was also a factor.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that he had taken full responsibility for everything his administration did.
“What I can tell you is that we have really done what we can and continue to do everything we can to minimize the loss of life and suffering,” he said at a daily press conference.
On a more positive note, the UK is leading the world in its coronavirus vaccination campaign. It was the first country to approve and introduce the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
After the vaccination campaign started in early December, weeks before the EU, she has now vaccinated a large part of her priority groups. elderly and healthcare / nursing home workers and is now offering the vaccine to those over 70 and anyone at extreme risk.
To date, it has vaccinated over 6.8 million people with at least the first dose of a vaccine.