A worker assists a woman in entering The Royal London Hospital in London, Britain, on Jan. 26, 2021. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain has surpassed 100,000 after another 1,631 have been confirmed, according to official figures released Tuesday. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 100,162, the data showed. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
LONDON, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The number of people who died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in Britain has surpassed 100,000 after another 1,631 have been confirmed, according to official figures released Tuesday.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 100,162, the data showed.
Britain is the first European nation and the fifth country in the world to pass the grim landmark of 100,000 deaths, following the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
Another 20,089 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,689,746, according to official figures.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, described it as a "sobering moment in the pandemic".
"These are not just numbers. Each death is a person who was someone's family member and friend," she said.
"This virus has sadly taken millions of lives across the world, but we have learnt a lot about this coronavirus over the past year," she said. "The best way to slow the spread is to follow the rules and right now that means staying at home."
In response, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday at a virtual press conference that "I'm sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from COVID in the UK has surpassed 100,000."
"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 missed chance to even say goodbye," he said.
The prime minister said that he offered "the deepest condolence" to those who have lost their loved ones.
For his part, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government's measure for the coronavirus death toll having passed the grim landmark is "heart-breaking" and warned there is still "a tough period ahead".
"My thoughts are with each and every person who has lost a loved one -- behind these heart-breaking figures are friends, families and neighbours," he said in a statement.
"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," the statement said.
Meanwhile, opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said that the British government's measure of the coronavirus-related death toll passing 100,000 is a "national tragedy".
In a statement, Starmer 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. Eery death is a loved one, a friend, a neighbour, a partner or a colleague," he said. "It is an empty chair at the dinner table."
Britons may have to forgo foreign holidays until 2022 as ministers prepare to impose tough new travel restrictions, a minister said on Tuesday.
Professor David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at University of Cambridge, said the British government's dashboard only counted people who died within 28 days of a positive test.
"The more accurate ONS (the British Office for National Statistics) data show that over 100,000 people in the UK had already died with COVID on their death certificate by Jan. 7, nearly three weeks ago," he said. "This rose to 108,000 by Jan. 15, and the total now will be nearly 120,000."
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem