United Kingdom was too slow and 40,000 may die: top epidemiologist

Share

The United Kingdom was too slow to react on a number of fronts to the novel coronavirus outbreak, a leading public health professor told a parliamentary committee on Friday.

The UK has recorded another 847 coronavirus deaths in hospitals, raising the overall total to 14,576.

The UK is facing probably the highest death toll in Europe, a former World Health Organization director has warned.

Professor Anthony Costello - an expert in epidemiology at the UCL Institute for Global Health - told the UK's Health and Social Care Committee: "We have to face the reality". "We could see 40,000 deaths by the time it's over". In the United Kingdom, now 8,978 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

British ministers have defended their response to the outbreak, saying they followed scientific advice and have responded with urgency in what amounts to a war-like situation.

"And so we need to make sure that we have a system in place that can not just do a certain number of tests in the laboratory, but has a system at district and community level".

Michigan's stay-at-home order provokes protest
Saving lives", Governor Whitmer said during an update posted online by the Michigan State Police on Wednesday, April 15. She is the target of at least two lawsuits claiming her order infringes constitutional rights.

"We have to get the economy going and if it means locking down 10% of our population, even giving them incentives to stay in quarantine and with digital apps to help monitor their symptoms and give them support, that's the way to really keep this going until we get a vaccine and safe herd immunity", he added. "We have got to pray the vaccinologists come up".

The government vowed to conduct 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April, a more than five-fold increase on current rates.

MPs at the committee were told that healthcare staff are "genuinely concerned" over the safety of their patients, should staff be spread too thinly.

He said testing was being expanded to include the police, the fire service, prison staff, critical local authority staff, the judiciary, and the work and pensions ministry. Last week, a daily high reached 980 deaths.

But new official data indicates the true death toll could be much larger, with many who've died at home on in care homes yet to be accounted for.

Britain remains among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic, with the latest data also showing the total number of infections in the country has climbed to almost 109,000.

Share