The Department of Health announced the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19)cases has surged by nearly a third to 206 as of 7am on Saturday. More than 21,000 people throughout the country have been tested for coronavirus. On Friday, it was confirmed a a man in his early 80s had become the second person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.
The man, who had underlying health conditions, died on Thursday while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.
Coronavirus is spreading throughout the country at its fastest rate yet, and one expert has warned the outbreak could peak in just a few weeks, with millions expected to be infected with the deadly bug.
Microbiologist Peter Piot told The Times: “I’m often asked whether the threat is being overhyped. The answer, to me, is no.
“This is the real thing.
“I think we will go to the peak of the epidemic somewhere around Easter.
“We can safely say there are already a few thousand people infected in the UK.”
Dr Piot warned even when the coronavirus outbreak hits its peak in the UK, it could return in November.
“If it goes down in April or May it could come back again in November.
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“We’ve got a reasonable worst-case scenario… that involves 80 per cent of the population and we think the mortality rate is one per cent or lower. I expect it to be less than that.
“It takes about 12 weeks to reach the peak then maybe about 12 weeks to go away again.
“You expect about 90 per cent of cases in the nine weeks in the middle of that and 50 per cent of cases in the three weeks of the middle of that.”
The first death from coronavirus in the UK came on Thursday when a 75-year-old woman died after testing positive for the deadly disease.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said the woman, who died at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, had been suffering from underlying health conditions and was “in and out of hospital”.
The second death from coronavirus in the country came just a day later, with the elderly man dying while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.
Government ministers are this week expected to advise elderly people to visit relatives now before “social distancing” policies are introduced.
British pensioners could be warned to stay at home and will likely be told to avoid crowded areas.