The UK has become the first country in Europe to record more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.
A further 1,631 fatalities were announced on Tuesday, taking it the total number of people who had tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began last year to 100,162.
It means Britain is the fifth country in the world to pass the milestone, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic”.
“I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and as prime minister I take full responsibility for everything that the government has done,” he told a televised briefing on Tuesday. 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 crisis for our country.”
Johnson also pledged to “come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost” once the crisis was over. The figures show the vast majority of fatalities — three quarters — were among people over the age of 75. Just 1% of people who died of the virus were aged below 45.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director at the Public Health England agency, called it a “sobering moment”.
She said: “These are not just numbers. Each death is a person who was someone’s family member and friend. This virus has sadly taken millions of lives across the world, but we have learnt a lot about this coronavirus over the past year.”
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