Saturday, December 4

Scientists claim UK virus death toll could triple



Coronavirus deaths in the UK passed 20,000 yesterday as scientists warned the grim toll could TRIPLE.

Analysis by Seattle’s Washington University warns Brits should expect 37,494 deaths by August 4. But the uni’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted it could even be as high as 62,500.

Last month the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said a death toll of 20,000 would be “a good outcome”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told the No10 press conference yesterday: As the deaths caused by this terrible virus pass another tragic and terrible milestone, the entire nation is grieving.

And Care England say numbers could be swelled by a further 7,500 deaths in care homes. But even though the economy is reeling and ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond joined calls to ease the lockdown, Ms Patel held out no prospect of a swift return to normality.

She said: We know people are frustrated, but we are not out of danger. It is imperative people continue to follow the rules.

I know you would love me to give you a date as to when schools may reopen, but we are not going to do that. We want to prevent a second wave of this horrendous virus. To do that we have to make sure we con-tinue the measures that are in place.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, also said lockdown must not be lifted early.

He said: This is a once-in-a-century global health crisis. It’s a very sad day for the nation 20,000 deaths is clearly 20,000 too many.

Even countries that got on top of this early on are beginning to see new infections. This is not going to be something we will begin to get over in the next few weeks.

Yesterday’s figures showed 20,319 deaths in the UK, up by 813. But doctors believe we have passed the peak as hospital admissions fall.

Four other countries have topped 20,000 deaths the US (53,243), Italy (26,384), Spain (22,902) and France (22,614). Another grim milestone was passed too with more than 200,000 deaths globally.