200,000 Covid-Related Deaths Must Serve as Important Reminder, says BMA

Over 200,000 Covid deaths have been recorded across the UK, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

A total of 200,247 Covid deaths have occurred, with 294 in the last week. The figures include deaths due to Covid-19 as well as those involving the virus.

Analysis of registrations figures for England and Wales for the pandemic to date shows that, in the first wave, 91% of people died directly as a result of Covid.

Since Omicron became the dominant variant that figure has fallen to 68% of Covid deaths, with 60% of deaths due to the virus in recent weeks because of the reduced severity of the strain and the success of the vaccine rollout.

Responding to news Professor Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said:
“Today marks a deeply tragic milestone for our country as it is confirmed that 200,000 people have lost their lives to this devastating virus. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of those who have died, each of whom have suffered an irretrievable loss.

“This terrible loss of life must serve as an important reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away and remains a serious threat to public health. It is vital that the Government ensures that the public are well informed of the risks of Covid-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves and others, especially at this time of rising Covid infections.

“Health and care settings must be safe for staff and patients and the Government must support this by bringing back mask wearing for patients, ensuring regular NHS staff testing and making sure that staff have access to high quality PPE. The Government must also reverse its deeply damaging decision to end Special Covid Leave which provided vital support to healthcare staff if they needed to self-isolate or became unwell with Covid or long Covid.

“The families of the people who have lost their lives to Covid, as well as the healthcare workers who have spent over two years working in the most harrowing situations, deserve answers and the nation needs assurances that we will never experience tragedy on this scale again. It is crucial that the Government demonstrates that it has a strategy to deal with both the immediate pressure of waves of heightened infection rates and the longer-term impact of Covid, including the disproportionate impact on different groups in society, underpinned by appropriate investment.

“We look forward to working with Baroness Hallett and the public inquiry to represent the frontline doctors who have sacrificed so much in the battle against Covid-19 to ensure that lessons from the pandemic are learnt sooner rather than later.”

 

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