The coronavirus had claimed the lives of 30,076 people in the United Kingdom until yesterday, according to government data – the National Statistics Office puts the number above 32,000 – making the country the second largest in the world in terms of deaths, after the United States, and the first one in Europe, after Italy.
However, it is the fourth in number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, after Belgium, Italy and Spain, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“How did it come to this”, was the question put to Boris Johnson yesterday by Labour’s Keir Starmer during the question and answer session with the Prime Minister in Parliament in what was his first face-to-face meeting. The last time the premier answered MPs in the House of Commons was on 25 March, before he was admitted to hospital by Covid-19 and Westminster closed.
Starmer, who began his speech by welcoming Johnson after his recovery and congratulating him on the birth of his son a week ago, questioned the government’s response to the emergency and called for a “national consensus” for its management. He also accused the executive of being “slow to decree closure, slow to test, slow to track and slow to provide protective equipment” to workers on the front lines. In addition, he questioned the Executive about the deaths in residences, to which Johnson responded that “the epidemic in nursing homes is something I bitterly regret”, intoning an atypical “mea culpa” that nevertheless does not respond in a forceful way to the criticisms.