Chris Whitty says UK must do four things now as UK risks 200 coronavirus deaths a day | UK | News

During the coronavirus briefing the UK’s Chief Medical Officer outlined several ways the COVID-19 virus will harm the population’s health as he issued a plea to Britons to follow the latest social distancing rules. Mr Whitty stated that if the NHS becomes overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, members of the population who need other health procedures and screenings may miss out. 

He said: “There are four ways in which this virus is going to have a potentially significant effect on the population’s health if we let it go out of control.

“Firstly, the easiest to identify is direct COVID deaths, people that get the virus and die of the virus.

“The second would be if the NHS and emergency services were overwhelmed by a huge spike.

“That is what the extraordinary efforts of the population stopped from happening in the first wave.”   

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“The third however is very important and I think its importance should not be understated which is if the NHS is having to spend a large proportion of its efforts in trying to treat COVID cases, it will lead to a reduction in treatment for other areas such as early diagnoses for disease and for prevention programmes.

“So there is an indirect effect on deaths and on illness from this impact on the NHS if we allow the numbers to raise fast.”

Mr Whitty continued: “On the other side we know that some of the things we have had to do will cause significant problems in the economy, social impacts, impacts on mental health and therefore all of society has to walk this very difficult balance.

“If we do too little this virus will go out of control and we will get significant numbers of direct and indirect deaths.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser added regaridng the current level of COVID-19 in Britain: “At the moment we think the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days.

“If that continues unabated and this grows, doubling every seven days, what you see of course by mid-October if that continues you would end up with 50,000 cases a day in the middle of October.

“Which is expected to lead a month later to 200 deaths a day.”  

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