Britain braces for ‘hundreds’ of daily coronavirus deaths ‘within weeks’

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The coronavirus daily death toll could start claiming hundreds of patients in the coming weeks, experts have claimed.

Over the past few weeks, positive Covid-19 test results have rocketed upwards, with 4,422 cases recorded on Friday – the highest daily increase since May.

And while Covid related deaths are still low in comparison to the spike in numbers testing positive for the potentially fatal virus, experts have warned hundred of daily coronavirus deaths could occur “within weeks”.

The government has already introduced new measures, such as the Rule of Six, in an attempt to take control of the rapid spread of the virus, but tougher measures could be necessary to avert devastating deaths.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London – who was sacked from SAGE earlier this year for flouting lockdown rules he devised himself – has warned an increase in deaths could occur.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “Right now we're at about the levels of infections that we were seeing in late February, if we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March.

“That's going to clearly cause deaths… I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later, the timing of any more intensive policy, temporary policy, is open to question.”

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His desire for stricter lockdown rules has been echoed by the British Medical Association who have requested stronger Covid-tackling measures to protect the NHS from being “crippled”.

Lockdown was originally introduced in March amid fears the NHS would be overwhelmed by coronavirus suffering patients.

Nightingale hospitals were hurriedly constructed across the UK – including in London where the ExCeL conference centre in east London was converted into a makeshift facility capable of treating as many as 4,000 Covid-19 patients.

However, the BBC reported back in April that the facility treated just 51 patients in its first three weeks.

While the government is said to be considering other local and even national lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic in an apparent “second wave”, many fear the potentially devastating economic impact.

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Hospitality chiefs have warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost.

The government has been criticised throughout its approach to the health crisis – with some arguing they have not done enough to protect lives and jobs.

The latest plans for lockdown measures appear to be in response to increasing hospital admissions and deaths relating to the virus in other European countries like Spain and France, which it is feared the UK is only a few weeks behind in emulating.

Indeed, a senior Government source told The Daily Telegraph this weekend: “The Prime Minister has a very difficult challenge.

“At the moment we are on the same trajectory of Spain and France. Spain (on Thursday) clocked 240 deaths – they are six weeks ahead of us so it is now being translated from cases to deaths.

“By mid to late October if we don't do anything then obviously that's going to put us in a situation that looks more like we were earlier in the year.”

  • NHS
  • London
  • Coronavirus

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