A public health expert has said he believe the UK will the left with a “high burden of coronavirus cases” following the governments handling to the outbreak.
Dr Gabriel Scally, president of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, said across the UK there will be populations with high exposure to coronavirus.
Health experts are urging the government to change their response to the virus.
Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Dr Scally, who led the CervicalCheck review in Ireland said, “The things that both the Republic of Ireland and the UK have in common are the great deal of emphasis on social distancing, which is now being reinforced by strict rules that are being implemented very successfully in both jurisdictions.
“The second thing is, hospitals are in a high state of readiness and preparedness and that is a common feature, but there is a great deal of concern in the UK about the availability of protective equipment.
“The case numbers are expected to climb substantially, particularly in London, which is a hotspot.
“A big difference is that the UK is making no effort to control the spread of the virus in the community by testing for cases and by contact tracing, and so the United States, the UK, and Sweden are the three real outliers on this.
“Those three countries are taking a different route.
“I think the end game is going to be really very, very different.
“There are going to be a high burden of cases, particularly in the US, and I think in the UK as a result of what they’ve done or rather what they’ve not done.
“When we get past this – what is likely to be a very large surge – we’re going to end up with populations in the UK, with a high exposure to the virus.
“So a lot of people will have had it compared to the Republic of Ireland and other European countries, and it will then be difficult to lift some of the restrictions, particularly around travel and so on because the two countries, the two groups of countries, will be in completely different places.
“Personally, I think there’s no doubt in my mind that the Republic of Ireland is taking exactly the right course, based on international experience, and the very best advice.
“That will buy the country time, it’ll buy time for vaccines to develop.”
More “importantly” this will “buy time for some of the drug trials to take place, so we can treat people more effectively.”
Public Health England (PHE) appeared to provide hope that one million home testing kits for coronavirus could be sent out within weeks.
The Professor told the health and social care committee on Thursday, “In other words, members of the public will be able to take a blood test and send it back in the post and get that analysed.
“That is an antibody test that tells you if you have had the condition.”
Just under half of Britons aged 18-75 (45%) think that even though the coronavirus outbreak will be tough, Britain will be stronger when it gets through it, while 40% think the country will be weaker because of it for years to come.