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UK reaches 200,000 Covid deaths milestone

UK reaches 200,000 Covid deaths milestone

The UK has recorded more than 200,000 Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, Government figures have revealed.

The latest data on daily deaths with Covid on the death certificate, published yesterday, showed that 200,247 deaths had been recorded in the UK as of 1 July.

The lag in reporting is because the data is based on death registrations, meaning the number will now be higher.

The BMA said the ‘tragic milestone’ should ‘serve as an important reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away and remains a serious threat to public health’.

It called for renewed measures such as the return of universal mask-wearing for patients in GP practices.

Newly-appointed BMA council chair Professor Philip Banfield said: ‘It is vital that the Government ensures that the public is well informed of the risks of Covid-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves and others, especially at this time of rising Covid infections.

‘Health and care settings must be safe for staff and patients and the Government must support this by bringing back mask wearing for patients, ensuring regular NHS staff testing and making sure that staff have access to high-quality PPE.’

It comes as the latest Covid surge has pushed the NHS in some parts of England to reintroduce face masks in GP practices, for staff and patients.

And influential MPs have called for NHS England to launch a new campaign to boost Covid vaccine uptake among nearly three million unvaccinated patients, with a target to reduce this to 2.5 million.

Professor Banfield added: ‘The families of the people who have lost their lives to Covid, as well as the healthcare workers who have spent over two years working in the most harrowing situations, deserve answers and the nation needs assurances that we will never experience tragedy on this scale again. 

‘It is crucial that the Government demonstrates that it has a strategy to deal with both the immediate pressure of waves of heightened infection rates and the longer-term impact of Covid, including the disproportionate impact on different groups in society, underpinned by appropriate investment.’

Last year, the UK became the first country in Europe to surpass 100,000 deaths from Covid in January.