Britain is currently recording the highest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in the world relative to its population.
On a seven-day moving average, there were recently more than 16.5 deaths per million people, according to a recent evaluation by Oxford University that refers to data from the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.
This puts Britain just ahead of the Czech Republic and Portugal, and well ahead of Germany and the U.S., both of which recorded an average of over nine deaths per million inhabitants over the same period.
On Tuesday, the number of deaths reported in Britain within 24 hours reached a record of 1,610.
The total number of deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate now stands at just under 96,000, but as this figure is always reported with some delay, it is thought to be as high as around 108,000 coronavirus deaths already.
The largest of the four British home nations, England, has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
There, it is estimated that by December, more than 12 per cent of people had experienced a coronavirus infection, according to an antibody study by the Office for National Statistics.
This corresponds to about one in eight people.
For Britain as a whole, it is about one in 10.
However, analyses have shown that the amount of antibodies can quickly disappear after an infection, so the actual value could therefore be higher.
In November, the rate in England was just under 9 per cent.
The number of vaccinations already carried out in Britain is more encouraging.
According to the government, more than four million Britons have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The country is still the world’s lone front-runner, apart from smaller countries like Israel and several Gulf states.
More than half of the over-80s and half of nursing home residents in England have already been vaccinated, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Monday.
The Conservative politician went into self-isolation again on Tuesday after receiving a request to do so via a warning app.
He had already contracted COVID-19 last spring.
Leading British doctors on Tuesday called for the prioritisation of minority ethnic groups for COVID-19 vaccines, as they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“We are concerned that recent reports show that people within BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities are not only more likely to be adversely affected by the virus but also less likely to accept the COVID-19 vaccine, when offered it,” Martin Marshall, head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, told the Guardian newspaper.
Marshall urged the Health Ministry to include ethnicity as a factor in vaccine prioritisation and said general practitioners could use discretion to tailor doses to the needs of their local communities.
Marshall and other medical experts also called for a health communications campaign tailored to minority communities.
“We need to be clear to our communities that there is no meat or meat products in the vaccine.
“There is no pork, there is no alcohol, and it has been endorsed by religious leaders and religious councils,” said Habib Naqvi, director of the National Health Service’s Race and Health Observatory.
Studies have shown that ethnic minority groups are almost twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than the rest of the population.
According to the British statistics authority, the mortality rate of black African or Bangladeshi males aged 9 to 64 was five times higher than among white males of that age group in the first pandemic wave. (dpa/NAN)