UK coronavirus death rate to stay high top medic says, as toll passes 4,300

Europe Materials 4 April 2020 23:55 (UTC +04:00)
UK coronavirus death rate to stay high top medic says, as toll passes 4,300

High fatalities from the coronavirus will continue in the United Kingdom for at least another week or two even if people comply with stringent isolation measures, health authorities said on Saturday as the country’s death toll jumped to 4,313, Trend reports citing Reuters.

The toll went up by 708 in 24 hours, the highest daily rise so far in Britain. A 5-year-old child with an underlying health problem was among the dead, along with at least 40 who had no known previous known conditions.

“With great sadness the number of deaths continues to be high,” Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the English health service, said at a Downing Street news conference.

“Unfortunately that is likely to continue over the next week or two until we get on top and stop this virus,” Powis said.

The government has put Britain into a widespread shutdown, closing pubs, restaurants and nearly all shops, while ordering people to stay home unless it is absolutely essential to venture out.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove repeatedly declined to say when the lockdown could be lifted but said it would depend on whether people adhered to the stringent rules.

The lockdown began nearly two weeks ago, with a pledge to review the measures after three weeks.

“If we relax our adherence to the rules we increase the risk for others,” he said, offering his condolences to the family of the 5-year-old.

Britain initially took a restrained approach on tactics to curb the spread but Prime Minister Boris Johnson changed tack and imposed stringent social-distancing measures after modelling showed a quarter of a million people in the country could die.

Johnson has himself been in self-isolation after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. His pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, said on Twitter she had spent the past week in bed with symptoms but was now feeling better.