The United Kingdom's death toll due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 has reached almost 43,000 underlining the nation's status as the worst-hit country n Europe and raising more questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson way of handling the crisis.

The latest official figures for England and Wales took the death toll at 42,990, a Reuters tally showed that includes the previously published information from Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well the recent hospital deaths in the UK.

Office for National Statistics Data Painted a Grim Picture in Care Homes

Coronavirus
Coronavirus IANS

Tuesday's data from the Office for National Statistics also painted a grim picture in care homes, which have been especially hard hit by the virus that has killed more than 317,700 worldwide. The death toll in care homes across the United Kingdom surpassed 10,000 as of May 8, the data showed.

While different ways of counting make comparisons with other countries difficult, the figure confirmed Britain was among those hit worst by the pandemic. Such a high UK death toll increases the pressure on Johnson. Opposition parties say he was too slow to impose a lockdown, too slow to introduce mass testing and too slow to get enough protective equipment to hospitals.

(With agency inputs)