The number of Britons to die with Covid now exceeds 100,000, it was revealed today.
The figures include deaths registered up to January 15, with the grim six-figure milestone being breached as a result of a further 7,766 Covid deaths in the most recent week across the UK.
The ONS’s data is different to the Government’s Covid “dashboard”, which is updated daily, and later also passed 100,000. The ONS data is regarded as the “gold standard”.
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “It is a tragedy that we have now seen more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. This is a dreadful milestone to have reached, and behind each death will be a story of sorrow and grief.
“We won’t know the true impact of Covid-19 for a long time to come because of its long-term effects – but, as well as the high death rate, it’s particularly concerning that this virus has widened health inequalities and affected Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities disproportionately.
“Sadly, the virus has the potential to destroy many more lives. This is why we must all remain vigilant and meticulously follow the rules restricting social contact, however onerous they may seem.”
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at University of Cambridge, said the Government’s dashboard only counted people who died within 28 days of a positive test.
He said: “The more accurate ONS data show that over 100,000 people in the UK had already died with Covid on their death certificate by January 7, nearly three weeks ago. This rose to 108,000 by January 15, and the total now will be nearly 120,000.
“Around 90 per cent of these had Covid as the immediate cause of death, and so perhaps we can say that around 100,000 people in the UK have now died because of Covid. An awful total."
The ONS also revealed today that 1,272 Londoners had died with covid in the week to January 15.
More than half of all 2,346 deaths in the capital in that week involved Covid, with the London death toll an astonishing 84 per cent higher than normal for the time of year.
According to the ONS, 13,139 Londoners have died with Covid on their death certificates since the start of the pandemic.
Sarah Scobie, Nuffield Trust deputy director of research, said the “harrowing figure” of 100,000 deaths did not take into account the tens of thousands of excess deaths across the UK.
This includes people who died at home from another condition because they were too fearful to seek medical help, or whose hospital care was impacted by the need of the NHS to focus on Covid patients.
Ms Scobie said: “In the most recent weekly registered deaths data, we have reached the third-highest (7,245) number of Covid fatalities at any time during the pandemic.
“Two in five deaths registered in the week up to 15 January were Covid related translating to over half of all deaths in hospitals and over a third in care homes. As we have only recently hit record daily reporting of deaths, we know registrations will remain high for another few weeks.
“The number of registered deaths from Covid of care home residents has increased by 25 per cent since last week. The sector is again feeling the strain, and while the vaccine roll-out for the most vulnerable is continuing at impressive speed it will be a while until the benefits feed through to the figures.”