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UK COVID deaths exceed 150,000

January 9, 2022

Russia is the only European country with more recorded deaths. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has mourned the "terrible toll" of the pandemic, and urged citizens to get vaccinated or boosted.

A man paints on the National Covid Memorial Wall in London. The wall is covered in pink and purple hearts, some with writing on them.
The United Kingdom has one of the highest COVID death tolls in EuropeImage: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/ZUMA Press/picture alliance

More than 150,000 people have died in the United Kingdom after contracting COVID-19, the British government said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the virus has "taken a terrible toll on our country," and offered his condolences to people who have lost friends and relatives.

The UK is one of the most affected countries in Europe, second only to Russia, which has a reported death toll of almost 315,000.

Globally, the UK is the seventh country to pass this grim milestone, following the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.

What else did Boris Johnson say?

"Each and every one of those [deaths] is a profound loss to the families, friends and communities affected and my thoughts and condolences are with them," Johnson said in a tweet.

He then urged citizens to get vaccinated and boosted, saying this is the way out of the pandemic.

Around 61% of the British population over the age of 12 has received a vaccine booster.

Boris Johnson greating medical staff with his elbow at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Northampton
Johnson said vaccinating the population is the only way to emerge from the pandemicImage: Peter Cziborra/Reuters/AP/picture alliance

What is the coronavirus situation in the UK?

The number of daily reported cases in the UK reached a record 200,000 last week. In recent days, this has subsided slightly, with 146,390 cases reported on Saturday.

The UK has introduced new pandemic measures, including compulsory wearing of face masks by students in schools, but did not impose restrictions on social gatherings over the festive period. 

Due to the massive increase in positive cases, the country's Defense Ministry announced Friday that it would send troops to assist hospital staff.

A scientist advising the government said the number of deaths was an "absolute tragedy" and that "many of them were avoidable if we had acted earlier in the first and second wave."

sdi/nm (AFP, dpa)