Boris Johnson has offered his “deepest condolences” to those in Britain who have lost relatives to coronavirus and pledged to ensure their loved ones are remembered as the UK’s figure for Covid-19 deaths passed 100,000.
The British prime minister said that when the country comes through the crisis “we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others”.
Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “I’m sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000…
“I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who’s lost a loved one: fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and the many grandparents who have been taken.”
Separate figures published by statistics agencies – together with additional data on deaths in recent days – show there have been more than 115,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK where the virus has been mentioned on the death certificate.
Mr Johnson told the briefing it was “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 missed chance to even say goodbye”.
UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said it was a “national tragedy”, adding: “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.”