More than 100,000 people in the UK have died from COVID-19.

Iran PressEurope: More than 100,000 people in the UK have died from a virus that, this time last year, felt like a far-off foreign threat. Now, the BBC is trying to answer how the UK came to be one of the countries with the worst death tolls?

Here are some clues that, when pieced together, help build a picture of why the UK has reached this devastating number.

Some will point a finger at the government - its decision to lock-down later than much of western Europe, the stuttering start to its test-and-trace network, the lack of protection afforded to care home residents.

Others will spotlight deeper rooted problems with British society - its poor state of public health, with high levels of obesity, for example.

Others, still, will note that some of the UK's great strengths - its position as a vibrant hub for international air travel, for example; its ethnically diverse and densely packed urban populations - exposed its vulnerability to a virus that spreads effortlessly in the close air between people.

In some people's eyes, the UK's island status might have helped it. Other island nations such as New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan managed to stop the virus from getting a foothold and deaths have been kept to a minimum - Australia has seen fewer deaths throughout the pandemic than the UK is recording every day on average.

All introduced strict border restrictions immediately and lockdowns to contain the virus before it had spread. The UK did not. It was not until June that quarantine rules were introduced for all arrivals and even then travel corridors were soon set up, relaxing the rules for travelers from certain countries. Only this month were these scrapped.


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