The full scale of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on UK public health and demographics is beginning to emerge, and the details make for grim reading.
According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were close to 697,000 deaths in the UK in 2020, almost 85,000 more than would be expected based on the average in the previous five years.
That is equivalent to an increase of 14 percent, thus constituting the biggest rise in excess deaths for more than 75 years.
World War Two in Europe began in September 1939 and ended in May 1945, and during that period around 70,000 British civilians were killed, mostly as a result of bombing raids by the German air force (Luftwaffe).
Analyzing the ONS figures, King’s Fund chief executive, Richard Murray, told the BBC the “picture was likely to worsen”, in view of the fact Covid-19 infections and associated deaths have been on the rise in recent weeks.
“The UK has one of the highest rates of excess deaths in the world, with more excess deaths per million people than most other European countries or the US”, Murray told the state broadcaster.
“In a pandemic, mistakes cost lives. Decisions to enter lockdown have consistently come late, with the government failing to learn from past mistakes or the experiences of other countries”, Murray added.