The coronavirus pandemic will remain in the UK until at least next Spring and 80% of Britons ‘are expected’ to be infected with it, according to a leaked Public Health England document.
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According to The Guardian, who have seen the document, around 8 million people will need to be treated in hospital for coronavirus over the next year, which makes it the first time public health officials have admitted they expect a virus to be present in the country for at least 12 months.
The document was sent to senior NHS officials who are naturally concerned about the strain coronavirus will put on the already struggling NHS. According to the Guardian, the document was drawn up over the last few days and shared with hospital bosses and senior doctors around England.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Public Health England’s lead official dealing with the outbreak, says:
PHE used reasonable worse-case scenario figures, to restate the importance for people with symptoms to stay at home, including health care workers in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Professor Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, had previously described the 80% figure as the ‘worst-case scenario’. It is now ‘expected’ that four in five people in the UK will get Covid-19, according to the briefing.
The document states:
As many as 80% of the population are expected to be infected with Covid-19 in the next 12 months, and up to 15% (7.9 million people) may require hospitalisation.
Prof Whitty predicts the number of Covid-19 cases will rise rapidly in Britain over the next 10 – 14 weeks, meaning a peak around the end of May to mid-June. Britain is sticking to its ‘flattening the curve’ strategy – delaying the peak and slowing down the spread to stretch it out over a longer period of time, in order to ease pressure on the NHS.
So yeah, this isn’t what anyone wants to hear but with any luck the more experts learn about coronavirus each day, the faster we are to developing a vaccine and dealing with it until then.
There’ve been conflicting reports on whether coronavirus can survive hot weather, so that could be helpful as we approach the summer months. Even then there are fears the virus could surge again in the winter, until the vaccine is developed – which Professor Whitty says could take up to a year.
There’s no way of reporting this news without making people panic but at the end of the day, this comes from an official briefing with PHE and senior NHS officials. We all need to know what’s going on and take the advice about protecting ourselves and other people seriously. Maybe don’t visit your parents/grandparents for a while either. This is obviously serious and it’s our responsibility to protect each other.
For the man stuck with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser after eBay and Amazon cracked down on coronavirus profiteering, click HERE. Don’t be like that fool.