UK becomes fifth country to exceed 50,000 coronavirus deaths

Published November 12, 2020
Soldiers carry out mass coronavirus testing, set up at a marketplace in Liverpool, England, during the four-week national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in England. — AP
Soldiers carry out mass coronavirus testing, set up at a marketplace in Liverpool, England, during the four-week national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in England. — AP

LONDON: The United Kingdom on Wednesday became the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Figures from the British government showed that 595 more people in the country died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, the highest daily number since May. The figure took the UK’s total death toll in the pandemic to 50,365.

The UK, which has persisted in having the most virus-related deaths of any European country, joins the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico in reporting more than 50,000 Covid-19 deaths, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The UK’s death toll is widely considered to be higher as the total only includes those who have tested positive for the virus and doesn’t include those who died of Covid-related symptoms after 28 days.

Like other nations in Europe, the UK is experiencing a resurgence of the virus and has imposed new restrictions to curb infections over the past few weeks. England is currently in the midst of its second lockdown, which is due to expire on Dec 2.

Following the news about the death toll exceeding 50,000, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is better equipped to handle outbreaks than it was during the first wave in the spring, when the country reported more than 40,000 deaths.

In addition to the prospect of a vaccine or vaccines against the coronavirus coming through in the next few months, Johnson cited far more widespread testing, which he said should help authorities obtain a better idea of how prevalent the virus is in the UK.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2020

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