A threshold he would have preferred not to cross. The United Kingdom became, Tuesday, January 26, the first European country to exceed the figure of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19.
The country, currently reconfigured, is in its third wave of the pandemic, much more virulent due to a variant considered to be far more contagious and potentially more deadly. According to the daily report of the Ministry of Health, 1,631 additional deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded Tuesday, bringing the total to 100,162 deaths.
As elsewhere in the world, this toll is probably underestimated: the number of deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate as a suspect cause, listed by official statistical bodies, exceeded 104,000 in mid-January .
“It is difficult to express the grief in this grim statistic, the years of life lost, family reunions missed, and, for many, the missed opportunities to say goodbye to a loved one.”, reacted Boris Johnson during a press conference.
“I am deeply sorry for every life lost and of course as Prime Minister I take full responsibility for everything the government has done”, assured the head of government, after being very criticized for the failures of the management of the crisis and the repeated reversals.
If the number of contaminations, which is close to 3.7 million (+20,089 in 24 hours), has started to ebb thanks to the new confinement, “mortality is only going to start to decline slowly in the next two weeks and will probably remain stable for a while”, said Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty. “More deaths will be added to this very sad total.”
From the start, conservative Boris Johnson has been accused of underestimating the scale of the crisis, confined too late and deconfined too quickly and too hard during the summer, ignoring the advice of scientists.
Also criticized at the beginning for insufficient screening and a shortage of protective equipment for caregivers, then for a very expensive system for tracing failed contact cases, the authorities are now focusing all their efforts on vaccination.