Covid: UK has worst daily death rate in the world, Oxford University research shows

The UK has the world's worst daily death rate for coronavirus related fatalities, research by Oxford University has shown.

On average, 935 people died every day in the UK over the last week after testing positive for coronavirus.

Statistics - collected by Our World in Data, an Oxford University research platform - show that the UK to have the worst seven-day average of new daily Covid-19 deaths per million people - a rate of 16.54 per 1,000,000.

Britain knocked the Czech Republic - which had the highest daily death rate since January 11 - off the top spot when it published the latest death figures on Sunday, when 671 new fatalities were recorded.

Czech Republic, in second place on the list, has a death rate of per million of 16.32.

Portugal, in third place, has a rate of 14.82. Next is Slovakia with 14.55, followed by Lithuania with 13.01.

Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis claimed it is "too early" to do international comparisons on death rates.

The Northern Ireland Secretary told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "You can't do a direct comparison of that type with this virus in terms of death rates."

Presenter Piers Morgan questioned why government ministers were happy to compare vaccinations, where the UK is near the top of global charts, but not deaths.

Mr Morgan said: "Given you talk about international comparisons all the time in relation to our vaccine performance, it is legitimate to ask you why we have the worst death rate.

"You can't bat the question away by saying you don't want to get into international comparisons, because you do when it suits you."

He added: "I am just asking you for the one reason why we have the worst death rate in the world right now."

Mr Lewis responded, saying the government "can't answer that question at the moment," adding: "You can't do a direct comparison of that type with this virus in terms of death rates."

He said international comparisons on death tolls would not be appropriate until after the pandemic.

He claimed international comparisons on vaccines could be made because there is a "difference with vaccines - that's a very clear decision about how much you've ordered and how you're rolling it out".

It came as the Office for National Statistics revealed an estimated one in eight people in England had been infected with Covid-19 by December last year.

On Monday, the UK recorded a further 599 fatalities, putting the official coronavirus-related death toll at 89,860.

Data on deaths published by the government only includes people who have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 105,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.The official death toll, 89,860, is the highest cumulative total in Europe.

The only countries globally with higher total death tolls are the US, Brazil, India and Mexico, however each of them have much higher populations than the UK.

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