Today the UK coronavirus death toll hit the grim milestone of 100,000.
The government update came just after 4:30 p.m. when it was revealed that 100,162 people had died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
However, this is not the only way to measure the number of deaths during the pandemic that could be due to the virus.
The alternative method is based on the number of people who had Covid-19 on their death certificates.
This is the one who passed 100,000 on January 7th.
The use of death certificates is the broader and more reliable measure of the impact of Covid-19 as it records every single death from coronavirus in the UK.
It’s a more accurate indicator of what could have resulted in a person’s death than a rule based solely on the number of days since a positive test.
In contrast, the government’s method of counting deaths only within 28 days of a positive test is less comprehensive.
People who died more than 28 days after the positive test are not included – even if these people spent the entire period in hospital and Covid-19 was noted on their death certificate.
It also excludes anyone who hasn’t had a positive Covid-19 test.
Because of this, the number of Covid-19 deaths is underestimated in the first few months of the pandemic, when only a minority of people were tested.
For example, the daily death toll according to the numbers for people who died within 28 days of a positive test peaked at 1,073 during the first virus wave on April 8th.
According to death certificates, the number of Covid-19 deaths on April 8 was 1,457.
Speaking at a press conference on Downing Street today (Tuesday, Jan. 26), Boris Johnson said it was “difficult to calculate the grief included in this dismal statistic” that the government has recorded 100,000 coronavirus deaths.
The Prime Minister said: “I am sorry to tell you that the number of deaths recorded in Covid in the UK has exceeded 100,000 today.
“It’s hard to calculate the grief that is contained in this grim statistic: years of life lost, family reunions not attended and, for so many relatives, the missed chance to say goodbye in the first place.”