Metro Mayor Dan Norris has called on the Government to apologise to West of England bereaved families after ONS figures showed more than 200,000 Covid deaths have been reported across the UK

The Metro Mayor said ministers should “address the families, apologise and ensure lessons are learned as quickly as possible” in the face of rising case numbers.

The grim milestone comes as infections and hospital admissions are once again on the rise, driven by the coronavirus subvariant Omicron BA.2.

Nationwide Covid cases have climbed by 24.6% in a week in the UK, with 1,445 positive cases in Bristol, 803 in Bath and NE Somerset and over 1,147 in South Gloucestershire.

With 200,247 recorded deaths in the UK, including 2,023 in the West of England, the Metro Mayor described the figure as a “tragic reminder” of the “continued toll of Covid”, arguing it was vital urgent lessons be learned now to inform the pandemic response over the coming weeks, and prevent further loss of life.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This terrible loss of life serves as a reminder of the continued toll of the Covid on local people. My thoughts are with the families who’ve lost loved ones because of these failures by this government. It wasn’t just the slowness to respond, or the repeated mistakes – again and again – these past two years: it was the running down of the NHS and our public services before the pandemic even began. The Government needs to accept responsibility, address the families of the bereaved here in the West of England and elsewhere, apologise and ensure lessons are learned as quickly as possible. We’re not out of the woods with covid-19 yet and so the Government has an obligation to ensure its mistakes are never repeated, and that urgent lessons be applied right now to prevent further tragedies”.

Some 294 deaths were registered in the UK last week, including 7 in the region, taking the tally beyond 200,000, with almost a quarter of the fatalities occurring in the past year.

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