Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that “many families are going to lose loved ones” and announced new measures designed to protect the elderly and the vulnerable from the Coronavirus
The PM also set out measures that could “cause severe disruption” for many months – as two more Brits died from the deadly bug. The PM has also come extreme criticism for acting slowly, critics have accused Boris Johnson of failing to take a lead on the UK response to the coronavirus.
As he moved the UK into the “delay” phase of his battleplan for coronavirus, Mr. Johnson said anyone with a mild cough or temperature must now stay at home for seven days.
It comes as the total number of UK cases hit 596, with 10 deaths.
The latest deaths were of an 89-year-old at Charing Cross Hospital in London and a woman in her 60s at Queen’s Hospital in Romford. Both had underlying health conditions. The PM said school trips abroad should be stopped, while people over 70 with serious medical conditions should not go on cruises.
“We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation,” said the PM.
“Some people compare it to seasonal flu, alas that is not right.
“Due to the lack of immunity this disease is more dangerous.
“It is going to spread further and I must level with you, I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”
The World Health Organisation has estimated that the global mortality rate from Covid-19 is about 3.4 percent. Initially, the agency had suggested that, based on early data from January, the death rate was about two percent.
But WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week it was much higher than they had first estimated. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than one percent of those infected.
However, it’s thought there are many mild cases that are not reported, which would bring the mortality rate down significantly.
Britain’s nuanced response to the outbreak contrasted sharply with drastic measures announced by other countries on Thursday, which included school closures, flight bans and sports events being abandoned, but Mr. Johnson insisted his was the right approach.