UK’s wider Covid-19 death toll passes 100,000

More than 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in the UK, latest figures show.

The total is based on the most up-to-date statistics for people who had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate, plus deaths known to have occurred more recently.

It is a more comprehensive measure of Covid-19 deaths than the figures published daily by the Government, which include only those who died within 28 days of testing positive, and which currently stands at 84,767.

By contrast the wider death toll stands at 101,160, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

The grim milestone comes almost a year since the UK’s first death involving Covid-19.

Milestones in the rise of the UK's Covid-19 death toll
Milestones in the rise of the UK's Covid-19 death toll

Peter Attwood, 84, from Chatham in Kent, died in hospital on January 30 2020 – though his death was not formally confirmed as having involved Covid-19 until the end of August.

By the time Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a full lockdown on March 23, the UK’s cumulative death toll had already passed 1,000.

During April there were 23 consecutive days each with more than 1,000 deaths, including 1,456 on April 8 – the “deadliest day” of the pandemic so far.

The cumulative death toll passed 25,000 on April 17 and 50,000 on May 23, but it took until November 26 to pass 75,000 due to a steep decline in deaths during the summer and early autumn.

As the second wave of the virus took hold across the UK in late autumn, deaths rose again – though not yet to levels seen during the first wave.

The new total of 101,160 deaths involving Covid-19 is made up of 93,418 UK deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, plus a further 7,742 that are known to have occurred since the latest registration data was published.

Of the 93,418 mentioned on death certificates:
– 84,449 were in England and Wales up to January 1 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.
– 7,074 were in Scotland up to January 10, according to the National Records of Scotland.
– 1,895 were in Northern Ireland up to January 1, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Since these cut-off dates, a further 7,742 deaths have taken place in the UK, according to the latest data on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

This breaks down as 7,244 in England, 322 in Wales, 17 in Scotland and 159 in Northern Ireland.

Due to the time it takes for deaths to be reported and registered, the “deadliest day” of the second wave will not become known until it has passed – possibly not for a week or so after.

Based just on death certificate mentions, the highest number of deaths on a single day in the second wave so far is 597, on December 28.

But this number, along with data for more recent days, is likely to be revised upwards once more deaths have been registered.