Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon warned on Sunday morning to Sky News that the government are preparing for up to 100,000 deaths across the UK.
She said, “We’re looking at the scientific worst case scenarios right now… these kind of figures are very much worst case scenarios.”
She added, the government are urgently looking to mitigate the impact on vulnerable and elderly people.
She said, “These kind of figures are broadly in terms of the worst case scenarios that we face. she said.
“But they are not forecasts. They are not forecasts of what will necessarily happen.”
On moving to the ‘contain’ phase of UK reaction, Sturgeon said, “It probably is a case of ‘when’ now.
“This is a serious situation, but the vast majority of people who get this virus will have very mild symptoms and recover reasonably quickly.”
However, last month a leaked document has revealed that up to 80% of Britons could be at risk of being infected with coronavirus, the government has said.
A document from the National Security Communications Team, seen by the Sun newspaper, suggests 80% of people could be contaminated with coronavirus, meaning more than 50m cases in the UK and 500,000 deaths, “in worst case scenario.”
They further warned, “the current planning assumption is that 2 to 3% of symptomatic cases will result in a fatality.”
On Saturday a leading microbiologist warned coronavirus could peak by Easter and millions could be infected between March and June.
Microbiologist Peter Piot has said the threat is not over hyped as cases appear to be doubling each week and has suggested there are most likely a few thousand in the UK who already have coronavirus.
Dr Piot told The Times newspaper the UK will see a peak of the epidemic around Easter, the microbiologist said, “if it goes down in April or May it could come back again in November.”
“We’ve got a reasonable worst-case scenario… that involves 80% of the population and we think the mortality rate is one per cent or lower. I expect it to be less than that.
“It takes about 12 weeks to reach the peak then maybe about 12 weeks to go away again.
“You expect about 90% of cases in the nine weeks in the middle of that and 50% of cases in the three weeks of the middle of that.”