Boris Johnson: New variant may have ‘higher degree of mortality’
According to latest Public Heatlh England figures, deaths within 28 days of a positive covid-19 test result has now exceeded 100,000. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has issued a dire warning.
Mr Hancock said: “My thoughts are with each and every person who has lost a loved one – behind these heart-breaking figures are friends, families and neighbours.
“I know how hard the last year has been, but I also know how strong the British public’s determination is and how much we have all pulled together to get through this.
“We’re undertaking a huge national effort to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our society, with over 6.5 million jabs across the UK to date, and thanks to the brilliance of our scientists and clinicians we know more today about this terrible new virus and how to beat it.
“The vaccine offers is the way out, but we cannot let up now and we sadly still face a tough period ahead.
Matt Hancock issues dire warning as deaths hit milestone
“The virus is still spreading and we’re seeing over 3,500 people per day being admitted into hospital.
“The single most important thing we must all do now is stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS.”
The Government said a further 1,631 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 100,162.
Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic.
“The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives the mischance even to say goodbye.
“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.
“To all those who grieve, we make this pledge that when we have come through this crisis we will come together as a nation to remember everyone wee lost and to honour to selfless heroism of all those on the front-line who gave their lives to save others.”
Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, said the new milestone was a “sobering moment in the pandemic”.
She said: “This is a sobering moment in the pandemic, 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.
“The best way to slow the spread is to follow the rules and right now that means staying at home.
“We should all be encouraged that hundreds of thousands of people are receiving a vaccine every day.
“However, there is still a way to go and these people might still be able to pass the virus on to others.
“That is why it is essential for all of us to work together by staying at home.
“This sacrifice will help slow the spread, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer also said it was a “national tragedy” following the news.
In a statement, he said: “This is a national tragedy and a terrible reminder of all that we have lost as a country.
“We must never become numb to these numbers or treat them as just statistics.
“Every death is a loved one, a friend, a neighbour, a partner or a colleague.
“It is an empty chair at the dinner table.
“To all those that are mourning, we must promise to learn the lessons of what went wrong and build a more resilient country.
“That day will come and we will get there together.
“But for now we must remember those that we have lost and be vigilant in the national effort to stay at home, protect our NHS and vaccinate Britain.”
More to follow…