UK passes grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, ONS data shows

26 January 2021, 10:29 | Updated: 26 January 2021, 11:49

The UK has seen over 100,000 coronavirus deaths
The UK has seen over 100,000 coronavirus deaths. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in the UK, the latest data from the Office for National statistics shows.

The total number of deaths in the UK involving COVID-19 over the whole pandemic up until January 15 is 103,704, the ONS said today.

ONS data is based on death certificates. Government figures based on deaths within 28 days of a positive test stands slightly lower, at 98,531.

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

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Cambridge University statistician professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, said: "There will be a lot of attention given to deaths with Covid reaching 100,000, but this is based on the figures released each day, which only include people who both had a positive test and then died within 28 days.

“The more accurate ONS data show that over 100,000 people in the UK had already died with Covid on their death certificate by January 7th, nearly 3 weeks ago. This rose to 108,000 by January 15th, and the total now will be nearly 120,000.  

“Around 90% of these had Covid as the immediate cause of death, and so perhaps we can say that around 100,000 people in the UK have now died because of Covid. An awful total."

The ONS figures released today show that 18,042 deaths were recorded in England and Wales in the second week of 2021, 30 per cent higher than the five-year-average.

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7,245 of those deaths mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)" on the death certificate. That represents the third-highest weekly number so far in the pandemic.

The number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes continued to rise, with 1,271 deaths in care homes registered in the week ending January 15.

This is up 32.3% from 960 the previous week.

Overall, there were 1,719 deaths of care home residents involving coronavirus either in the home, at hospital or another location, up 25.4% from the previous seven days.

Separate Care Quality Commission data shows it was notified of 2,314 deaths of care home residents in the week ending January 22.

This is a rise of 32% from the 1,752 notifications it received in the week ending January 15.

The Independent Care Group, which represents providers in York and North Yorkshire, said the figures make "grim reading" and demonstrate the need to avoid complacency.

Chairman Mike Padgham said: "Yes, we now have vaccines, and the Government is to be congratulated on the speed at which it is protecting the vulnerable.

"But Covid-19 is not beaten yet and we must remain cautious and, on our guard, observing all the guidance and keeping everyone in care settings - care and nursing homes and those receiving care in their own homes - as safe as we can, alongside those who are caring for them.

"The news that carers are going to be supplied with lateral flow tests they can do at home is another positive step and will hopefully have an impact and help protect carers who are selflessly looking after others."

The latest data from Johns Hopkins university shows close to 100 million global cases of Covid-19.

On Monday, it was announced that a further 592 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total to 98,531.

The latest government figures show 6,573,570 people in the UK have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 470,478 have received a second dose.