As UK's COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000, minister says it's tragic

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Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

LONDON (Reuters) - As the United Kingdom's COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000, Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that the numbers were tragic but that it was not the time to look back at the government's possible mismanagement of the crisis.

The United Kingdom's official COVID-19 death toll is 91,470 - Europe's worst death figure and the world's fifth worst after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

"The numbers are deeply tragic," Patel said. "We've seen just harrowing death tolls around the world."

Asked why the United Kingdom's death toll was the worst in Europe, Patel said: "There will be a range of reasons for that."

"I don't think this is the time to talk about mismanagement," she said when asked if the government had mismanaged the crisis.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge)