Strict social distancing measures were brought in by the Government to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent the NHS from being overburdened. If the UK public sticks to the lockdown rules like the people in China have done, the total number of deaths is expected to be reduced from 260,000 to just 5,700.
Statistician Tom Pike from Imperial College said: “Our work shows that social distancing is working against Covid-19 as an effective parachute across multiple countries.
“That’s no reason for us to cut away our parachutes when we’re still way above the ground.”
Professor Pike used the death figures in China to predict how he believes the UK situation will pan out.
The Government wants to slow the spread of the disease so they can understand it better and prepare the NHS.
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The fatal infection has killed more than 27,000 people around the world and 759 in the UK.
The estimate now is that at its peak the UK will have around 250 deaths in a day, which is far less than Italy is experiencing.
Speaking to The Times, Neil Ferguson, another expert at Imperial College, has said the virus could kill 260,000 people if there were less restrictions on the public and more than half a million if nothing was done at all.
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Researchers believe the peak of the outbreak could be a week on Sunday in the UK.
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK has been doubling every three days.
The death count depends on the spread of the virus and the treatment people have access to when they get it.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said: “There’s some early indication the public are really now heeding that advice and we thank them for that.
“It’s really important that we continue to do that. We do not expect to see a significant change in our numbers for two or three weeks and so we really need people to stick with us.”
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Speaking on Monday, March 23, the Prime Minister announced strict new rules across the UK, which saw non-essential shops, cafe and gyms close.
The public have been told that they may only leave the house to exercise once a day or do their essential food shopping.
Italy is the worst affected country in Europe and the director of a Milan hospital’s intensive care unite has said to Euronews the positive effects of the lockdown are yet to be seen.
Giacomo Grasselli, from Policlinico Hospital, said: “Unfortunately in ICU we’re still not seeing the positive effects of the restrictive measures that have been put in place 12 days ago.”
The country has been in lockdown since March 10.
NHS frontline workers in the UK will begin being tested this weekend so they can know if they have the virus or not.
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