Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.
The slides for tonight’s press conference can be found here.
- Delivered on:
- 26 January 2020 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
I am sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000, and it is 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 even to say goodbye.
I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one: fathers and mothers; brothers and sisters; sons and daughters and the many grandparents who have been taken.
And, to all those who grieve, we make this pledge: that when we have 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.
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 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.
And when those vaccines have finally freed us from this virus and put us on a path to recovery, we will make sure that we learn the lessons and reflect and prepare.
And, 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.