UK passes 100,000 deaths: How did it get here?

It’s killed more civilians in the UK than World War II.

It's killed almost twice as many people as the Nazi German air raids known as the Blitz.

COVID-19 related deaths in the UK have now officially passed 100,000, and people are asking why.

When the novel coronavirus silently slid across the United Kingdom back in March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially said it could be sent packing in a matter of weeks.

Fast-forward 10 months later and the country is in its third lockdown and hospitals are being compared to “war zones."

The UK has the highest death toll in Europe and the fifth-highest in the world.

In a series of investigations, Reuters has previously reported how the British government made several errors: It was slow to spot the infections arriving and it was too late with a lockdown. People were also discharged from the hospital into care homes when they were infected, spreading the disease further and to the most vulnerable.

Some scientific advisors say Britain did take the right measures - but just too late.

Johnson told people they “must” stay at home on March 23 - after Italy, France, and Spain - and studies have since said that locking down even a week earlier could have slashed the initial death toll.

Even when lockdowns were called the government's enforcement strategy was questioned.

Tougher measures for rule-breakers were introduced retroactively and the end of lockdowns meant the end of social distancing for some - with headlines of massive crowds and a complete lack of enforcement in places like beaches or street corners.

A delay in enforcing mask-wearing, a highly criticized test-and-trace app, and ultimately, a new variant during the second-wave were all contributing factors.

Johnson has resisted calls for an inquiry into the handling of the crisis, made by some doctors and bereaved families.

They accuse him of reacting too slowly, failing to supply sufficient protective equipment, and bungling the testing system.

Ministers argue that while they have not got everything right, they were making decisions at speed and now have one of the best global vaccination programs.