More than 100,000 people have now died with Covid in the UK, Govt figures show

26 January 2021, 16:40 | Updated: 26 January 2021, 17:50

Boris Johnson's response to 100,000 Covid deaths

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

More than 100,000 people have now died with Covid-19 in the UK, the latest official figures from the government show.

It comes after Britain's official coronavirus death toll rose by 1,631 on Tuesday, taking the new tally of people to die within 28 days of a positive Covid test to 100,162.

Speaking at the government's Covid-19 press conference at Downing Street, Boris Johnson said it is "hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic".

The prime minister told the briefing: "I'm sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000.

"It's hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic: The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives the missed chance to even say goodbye."

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Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 115,000 deaths involving coronavirus in the UK.

The government also said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 20,089 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,689,746.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its latest data that showed the total number of deaths involving Covid over the pandemic up until 15 January is 103,704.

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Speaking at the Downing Street briefing, the prime minister said: "I think on this day I should just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and, of course, as I was prime minister, I take full responsibility for everything that the government has done.

"What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can, to minimise loss of life and to minimise suffering in what has been a very, very difficult stage, and a very, very difficult crisis for our country, and we will continue to do that, just as every government that is affected by this crisis around the world is continuing to do the same."

He added: "We will remember the courage of countless working people, not just our amazing NHS and care workers, but shop workers, transport staff, pharmacists, teachers, police, armed forces, emergency services, and many others who kept our country going during our biggest crisis since the Second World War.

"We will commemorate the small acts of kindness - the spirit of volunteering and the daily sacrifice of millions who placed their lives on hold, time and again, as we fought each new wave of the virus, buying time for our brilliant scientists to come to our aid.

"In that moment of commemoration, we will celebrate the genius and perseverance of those who discovered the vaccines."

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Mr Johnson continued: "The best and most important thing we can all do to honour the memory of those who have died is to work together with ever greater resolve to defeat this disease. And that is what we will do."

The UK is behind only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico for its overall death toll. The US currently has 421,129 deaths, Brazil 217,664, India 153,587 and Mexico 150,273, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

Responding to the grim milestone, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “My thoughts are with each and every person who has lost a loved one - behind these heart-breaking figures are friends, families and neighbours.

“I know how hard the last year has been, but I also know how strong the British public’s determination is and how much we have all pulled together to get through this.

“We’re undertaking a huge national effort to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our society, with over 6.5 million jabs across the UK to date, and thanks to the brilliance of our scientists and clinicians we know more today about this terrible new virus and how to beat it.

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“The vaccine offers is the way out, but we cannot let up now and we sadly still face a tough period ahead. The virus is still spreading and we’re seeing over 3,500 people per day being admitted into hospital.

“The single most important thing we must all do now is stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "This is a national tragedy and a terrible reminder of all that we have lost as a country.

“We must never become numb to these numbers or treat them as just statistics. Every death is a loved one, a friend, a neighbour, a partner or a colleague. It is an empty chair at the dinner table.

“To all those that are mourning, we must promise to learn the lessons of what went wrong and build a more resilient country. That day will come and we will get there together.

“But for now we must remember those that we have lost and be vigilant in the national effort to stay at home, protect our NHS and vaccinate Britain.”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "A Covid death toll of over 100,000 - when we were told 20,000 would be a 'good outcome' - is a tragic milestone.

"We can't allow ourselves to become numb to these figures. Every death is an absolute tragedy and we should simply not be in this situation.

"The Government must learn the lessons from their failures and stop making the same deadly mistakes time and time again.

"After 100,000 people have tragically lost their lives we still do not even have a functioning test and trace system, proper sick pay or isolation support."

Other figures suggest the UK reached the grim 100,000 milestone on 7 January, if Covid-related deaths include the number of people who had the virus recorded on their death certificate.

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