Commenting on figures1 showing that more than 100,000 people in the United Kingdom have now lost their lives to Covid-19, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA Chair of Council said:
“We must not and will not forget this day; the day when we mourn the deaths of 100,000 people from a virus which has wreaked havoc on our health service, nation and society.
“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. This has been more painful as the necessity of lockdown and social distancing has constrained families from holding normal funeral services, and from seeking comfort in the company of others. The ongoing impact behind these dreadful figures cannot be underestimated.
“Among those who have died are many health and care workers – who lost their lives in the course of doing their jobs – caring for others in the most challenging of circumstances as we have seen NHS services tested to their limits. We know that some of those staff - many already at higher risk from Covid-19 - were not properly protected from the virus and yet felt under pressure to continue to work and do their duty by their patients.
“As the first nation in Europe to have reached this dark death toll, we must learn the lessons of this tragedy. We must understand why so many excess lives have been lost in our nation so that we can prevent this scale of death from coming to pass in any future pandemic.
“Now is the time to express our immense sadness at these deaths, to remember the lives they led and the good they did, and to redouble our commitment to reducing the spread of infection, vaccinating the population and protecting one another from this deadly disease.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.