The UK’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Harries has said, the UK will see “many thousands of people” contract coronavirus.
Dr Harries told Sky’s Kay Burley, “We will have significant numbers in a way which I think the country is not used to… so large numbers of the population will become infected, but because it’s a naive population, nobody has got antibodies to this virus currently.
“Having said that, 99% of those will almost certainly get better and most people will have a really quite mild disease and will not need to be in hospital and can be managed very safely and appropriately at home.
“The important thing for us is to make sure that we manage those infections and make sure that those individuals who are most affected so are elderly people particularly those with chronic underlying conditions get in touch and get treatment and we support other people in the home environment.”
The health chief said more people will die as the fatality rate will rise before it falls.
She said, “That’s all to do with how we count. It’s not that we count the wrong bit, it’s just that in an early phase it’s easier to find people with coronavirus who are very severely ill.
“We have them in hospitals in the healthcare systems and we can count them easily.
“What’s not so easy to count at the moment is the entire spread of disease in any country… which is the number that we count underneath the line, so the numbers will vary and at the moment actually the UK rates for disease is very similar to the one for example in France and we have very good systems in place.”
The prime minister said, “the more we can delay the peak of the spread to the summer, the better the NHS will be able to manage.”