The UK has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate, the Financial Times reported based on the study of the data.
The UK has recorded 59,537 more COVID-19 deaths than usual since the week ending March 20, "indicating that the virus has directly or indirectly killed 891 people per million," the FT noted.
At this stage of the pandemic, this is the highest mortality rate than in any other country publishing comprehensive quality data, including the US, Italy, Spain, and Belgium.
According to the FT, the absolute number of excess deaths in the UK is also the highest in Europe, leaving behind only the US in global terms.
In other countries, such as China, Brazil, and Russia, which have also been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, "their mortality rates are far below the UK."
"The timing of lockdowns relative to the spread of the virus had a significant effect on the total level of excess deaths, the data show," the FT added.
In Germany and Norway, restrictive measures were introduced at the initial stage of the mass spread of coronavirus, while the British government waited longer.
According to Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, some countries, including Italy, had 'bad luck' as they were the first to be hit by COVID-19, but this allowed other states such as the UK to learn a lesson from this.
“I was very surprised by the delayed response in the UK. Given what we were observing in Italy at the time and that the UK was on the exact same trajectory, had the same very steep rise, I was surprised to see discussion about waiting. There was an immediate need to stop what was happening,” she said. “For London, in particular, it was clear that there was a steep rise, so it’s reasonable to think earlier intervention would have saved lives.”
According to the latest data from the UK health department, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country exceeded 267 thousand, and the number of deaths nears 37.5 thousand.