UK coronavirus death toll surpasses Italy, now highest in Europe

UK coronavirus death toll surpasses Italy, now highest in Europe

The United Kingdom has now surpassed Italy in number of coronavirus-related deaths. As per the latest official data, the death toll in the UK has gone past the 32,000-mark -- which is past the 29,079 in Italy -- the region's highest death toll so far.

While Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called it "a massive tragedy,” experts believe that global comparisons at this stage are too early to make.

“I don't think we will get a real verdict on how well countries have done until the pandemic is over, and particularly until we get comprehensive international data on all-cause mortality," Raab said in a press briefing at Downing Street on Tuesday.

During his first press briefing back from after recovering from coronavirus infection, PM Boris Johnson had said last week said that “UK was past its peak.”

Deaths registered in the second last week of April were less by 354 as compared to the week before but care homes had a different story to tell where the number of deaths increased by 8.1 per cent from 7,316 to 7,911.

The UK is following the test, track, trace strategy and is expected to ease the lockdown in some areas form this week. Scientists have indicated that while UK could relax restrictions, it could raise protection levels for the elderly, those aged above 70.

Lockdown has already hurt the economy terribly and it is expected that there might be “deepest downturn in the living memory”. IHS Markit/CIPS survey suggests that coronavirus crisis could result in the UK GDP falling by 7 per cent.

Businesses like hairdressers and cafes have already reported an approximately 79 per cent loss of business.

With vaccine or drug still taking some time to come, the easing of lockdown comes with the caveat of a second spike at the same time putting the economy of a slow mode spells disaster too.

To be able to strike the right balance is the key to handling the crisis, something only history can tell.