Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation as UK coronavirus deaths pass 100,000
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered his "deepest condolences" to everyone who has lost a relative to coronavirus.
The Covid-19 death toll surpassed the figure on Tuesday, with the government confirming another 1,631 deaths.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said: “It’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic: The years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives the missed chance to even say goodbye. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who’s lost a loved one: fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and the many grandparents who have been taken."
“To all those who grieve, we make this pledge: that when we come through this crisis we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others," he said.
Vowing to ensure that those who have died will be remembered, Mr Johnson went on to say: "We will remember the courage of countless working people, not just our amazing NHS and care workers, but shop workers, transport staff, pharmacists, teachers, police, armed forces, emergency services, and many others who kept our country going during our biggest crisis since the Second World War.
“We will commemorate the small acts of kindness – the spirit of volunteering and the daily sacrifice of millions who placed their lives on hold, time and again, as we fought each new wave of the virus, buying time for our brilliant scientists to come to our aid. In that moment of commemoration, we will celebrate the genius and perseverance of those who discovered the vaccines," he said.
“And the immense national effort, never seen before in our history, which is now underway to distribute them, one that has now seen us immunise over 6.8 million people across the United Kingdom. When those vaccines have finally freed us from this virus and put us on a path to recovery, we will make sure we learn the lessons and reflect and prepare.
“Until that time, the best and most important thing we can all do to honour the memory of those who have died is to work together with ever greater resolve to defeat this disease. And that is what we will do.”
Explaining that the coronavirus infection rate remains “pretty forbiddingly high” to ease lockdown restrictions, Mr Johnson said: "It’s fair to say the rate of infection is still pretty forbiddingly high but at a certain stage we will want to be getting things open.
“What I will be doing in the course of the next few days and weeks is sending out in more detail as soon as we can when and how we want to get things open again.”