Britain has passed the grim milestone of recording more than 100,000 Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, after reporting a further 1,631 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
It makes the UK the fifth nation in the world to reach six figures, following the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.
It means Britain now has the highest death rate per million than any other country in the world.
Figures released earlier this month showed the Covid pandemic caused the highest number of excess deaths in the UK since World War Two.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, 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.”
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s senior scientific advisor, said in March that 20,000 deaths would be a “good outcome” for the UK.
Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, told a Downing Street media briefing in the initial outbreak last year that “if we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well”.
That figure has now increased fivefold.
Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association council, said: “When we are confronted with statistics like this, it’s difficult to fully contemplate the scale of human suffering lying behind them. Behind each statistic is someone who has lost their life: someone’s parent, partner, child, or friend, and the grieving families that they leave behind.”