UK coronavirus outbreak: Science chief says 20,000 deaths in Britain is best case scenario

1 min


UK coronavirus outbreak: Science chief says 20,000 deaths in Britain is best case scenario

Sir Patrick was addressing the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee on Tuesday when he made the comments. His intervention comes as the UK’s number of cases of the deadly coronavirus, known as COVID-19, had risen to 1,553 at the time of writing. A total of 55 people have currently died from the disease in Britain.

Health and Social Care Committee chair Jeremy Hunt, a former Health Secretary, asked the science official if the Government’s approach involved reducing the numbers of deaths from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands, which was a “much better picture than many might have feared”.

Addressing the Committee Sir Patrick said: “That is the hope, that we can get it down to that.

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“To put that into perspective, every year in seasonal flu the number of deaths is thought to be about 8,000.

“So if we can get this down to numbers of 20,000 and below, that is a good outcome.”

READ MORE: Queen coronavirus panic: Queen leaves Buckingham Palace week early

But Sir Patrick acknowledged the number of deaths was still going to cause a significant strain on the NHS as the UK braces itself for the peak of the epidemic.

The former NHS consultant said: “It is still horrible. That is still an enormous amount of deaths.

“It is still enormous pressure on the health service.

“And I know exactly what that looks and feels like.”

More to follow… 

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