Boris Johnson Said He Was "Deeply Sorry For Every Life Lost" As UK Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 100,000
The UK recorded its first coronavirus death on 5 March (PA)
The Prime Minister said he took "full responsibility for everything that the government has done" as the UK surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Speaking from Downing Street, Boris Johnson promised that the UK would “come together as a nation” once the pandemic was over “to remember everyone we lost”.
This latest sobering milestone comes just two months after the country recorded 50,000 Covid deaths on 7 November, and just over 10 months since the UK recorded its first coronavirus death on 5 March.
In other coronavirus developments:
- A Conservative MP and former teacher warned that irreparable damage could be done to children’s wellbeing due to school closures.
- The EU has suggested it could block exports of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine following news that UK-based company AstraZenaca would deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than expected.
- Latest government figures show that 6,853,327 people have had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 472,446 have had their second dose.
“I am sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000, and it is hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic,” Mr Johnson said.
“The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and, for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.”
He continued: “I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one: fathers and mothers; brothers and sisters; sons and daughters and the many grandparents who have been taken.”
After early measures to control the virus were introduced in March, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, told the health select committee it would be a “good result” if the number of UK deaths was kept below 20,000.
Mr Johnson also responded to criticism of his handling of the crisis, after reporters reference comments by Sir Patrick Vallance in March where he suggested it would be a “good result” if the number of UK deaths was kept below 20,000.
“On this day, I should just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and, of course, as prime minister. I take full responsibility for everything that the government has done.
But the prime minister did not address detail of criricism the government has faced over its pandemic response, including delays in introducing lockdowns, issues with track and trace, and the proposed relaxation of household mixing over Christmas.
“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 difficult stage, a 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.”