With its latest Covid-19 announcement, the UK's death toll rose to 29,427, making it the highest official figure in Europe and only second to the United States when looked at on a global scale. The news comes as the government's handling of the public health crisis remains under scrutiny. PPE shortages and a failure to keep testing levels above the self-imposed goal of one hundred thousand per day are just two of the most prominent failures as the country's cases curve still shows little sign of flattening.
Despite warnings regarding the comparability of Covid-19 deaths figures due to differing methodology, Prof David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University and proponent of avoiding such comparisons responded to the figures: “We are not doing very well and it’s been another very bad week. I really don’t like this league table of who’s top and who’s not, but there’s no denying that these are really serious numbers.”
Similarly, Dr Claudia Paoloni, president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association trade union said: “There will have to be a full investigation of the [government’s] handling of the Covid response in due course – a public inquiry – to understand why we are experiencing such large numbers in comparison to the rest of Europe."