The UK has as little as two weeks to prevent its coronavirus outbreak reaching the depths of the crisis seen in Italy, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
“The numbers are very stark, and they are accelerating. We are only a matter of weeks — two or three — behind Italy,” Johnson said Saturday.
Italy on Saturday recorded nearly 800 deaths from the coronavirus in one day and has now overtaken China as the worst affected nation.
Harrowing video footage from Italy’s hospitals show the scale of the crisis that could soon be approaching Britain.
“The Italian death toll is already in the thousands and climbing,” Johnson said. “Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread — then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed.”
The prime minister’s comments are backed up by the numbers.
The UK has so far recorded a total of 5,683 confirmed coronavirus cases and 281 deaths.The real total number of unconfirmed cases in the UK is much larger, however, and experts predict that the coronavirus outbreak in UK is now only narrowly behind that seen in other parts of Europe.
“The trajectory in the UK is so far roughly comparable to the one in northern Italy, but with the epidemic [there] two to three weeks ahead of the situation [here],” professor Francois Balloux, of the University College London Genetics Institute, said last week.
The UK’s healthcare system is already straining under the surge of cases, with some London hospitals in particular, already becoming overwhelmed.
A new data-visualization tool from a project called Databrew uses data from Johns Hopkins to compare various outbreaks around the world on the same time scale. The graph above compares the outbreak in Italy with that of the UK starting from the day each country reported its 150th case.
But what is clear is that time is running out to prevent the UK from suffering a similar, if not even worse, fate than the people of Italy.
—- Source – businessinsider —-