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Covid: UK virus deaths top 100,000 since pandemic began

A nurse in ICU in a hospital in Tooting

PA Media

The UK death toll from Covid has topped 100,000.

The data from the UK’s national statisticians show there have been nearly 104,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

The figures, which go up to 15 January, are based on death certificates. The government’s daily figures rely on positive tests and are slightly lower.

It comes after a surge of cases in December, leaving the UK with one of the highest Covid death rates globally.

The Office for National Statistics and its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland registered 7,776 deaths involving Covid in the most recent week.

That total is the third highest of the epidemic.

Last April, there were two weeks with more than 9,000 Covid deaths registered across the UK, but there have been no other weeks with more than 7,000 deaths registered.

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Analysis: Robert Cuffe, BBC head of statistics

We were one of the worst hit, if not the worst, countries in the Spring – worst in Europe.

Two big drivers of that were the timing of the first lockdown and the terrible numbers of deaths in care homes.

As a result of that, the UK could always rank among the hardest hit nations overall.

But comparing experiences in second waves is harder.

Some countries have very clearly done better than the UK.

Australia, for example, has seen very few Covid deaths overall, and deaths quite close to usual levels throughout 2020.

But the US, which had a milder first wave than the UK, has seen steady numbers of Covid deaths throughout summer and autumn.

Their death toll has been catching up with that of the UK in their most recent data, covering up until Christmas.

And some countries that missed the first wave entirely – like Poland, shown above, or Germany – have seen significant spikes in deaths in recent months.

With deaths rising since then in many countries and vaccination programs only getting up and running, there’s still a long way to go before we’ll know who’s had the toughest second wave.

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BBC News – Health

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