Britain’s coronavirus death toll has exceeded 50,000 – the most in Europe – as the country has been put in the second national lockdown due to the continuing wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers were revealed after the Whitehall said 595 more people had died within 28 days of testing COVID-19 positive, taking the total numbers to 50,365, as per government figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles separate numbers which indicate the death toll from COVID-19 is significantly higher – closer to 65,000.

Commenting on the rising death toll, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chief at the British Medical Association (BMA) was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “Today’s figure is a terrible indictment of poor preparation, poor organisation by the government, insufficient infection control measures, coupled with late and often confusing messaging for the public.”

He said the COVID-19 death toll should have never reached this level.

Expressing his concern over the death numbers, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said: “It is a grim milestone and we’re the first in Europe to hit it. Behind these numbers is a devastated family, one for every death, and they have to be uppermost in our mind.”

He blamed the government’s slow approach during the first phase and said the concerned authorities didn’t learn lessons from it. “We owe it to all of the families who are grieving to get on top of the virus and head towards a vaccine and that’s what the government must absolutely focus on now”, Starmer added.

Meanwhile, reacting to the latest development, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said every COVID-19 death a big loss and the government mourn for the dead ones.