UK becomes smallest country in the world to record 100,000 COVID-19 deaths
The U.K. has surpassed 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the smallest country to date to hit the grim milestone.
Government officials said Tuesday that 1,631 people had died of the virus on Monday, pushing the death toll to 100,163 people, The Associated Press reported.
Four other countries have recorded more than 100,000 deaths thus far, all of them significantly larger in population: the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and India. The U.S., which has a population about of 330 million, has reported more than 400,000 total deaths, the highest single-nation total.
The U.K., meanwhile, has contended with unique factors during the pandemic, such as early attempts at a “herd immunity” strategy and a more infectious variant of the virus found in the country recently.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized with the virus, has said the government response to the disease will be the subject of a public inquiry at some point in the future.
“Of course we will learn lessons in due course and of course there will be a time to reflect and to prepare for the next pandemic,” he said last week, according to the AP.
The full death toll is likely higher than official records show, as it remains unclear when the virus first reached the U.K. The first officially recorded British death from the virus was that of Peter Attwood, who died Jan. 30 of last year. His death was not recorded as a coronavirus death until several months afterward.
Overall, British coronavirus deaths have surpassed the body count of the 1940-41 German Blitz bombing campaign, which killed about 43,000 British civilians, according to the AP.