Great Britain

Coronavirus horror: UK deaths may reach 10,000 by next week - on par with Italy

BRITAIN could see as many as 10,000 coronavirus deaths by next week, putting the UK on a far worse trajectory than Italy, if growth rates in fatalities continue to increase at their current pace, according to an economics expert.

Ed Conway, economics editor for Sky News, argues that to predict where the COVID-19 pandemic is heading in the UK, it is important to focus not on the current number of people dying, but rather on the growth rate. And the growth rate in COVID-19 deaths in Britain has been high from the very start. Mr Conway wrote: “The UK growth rate has been high from the very beginning.

“Within a week or so of the first death, the number of deaths was doubling every two days.

“For the past week or so it's been doubling every three days.

“To put that into context, if the growth rate continued like that, in a week's time there would be 10,000 people dead and the UK would be on a far worse trajectory than Italy.

“That is the dismal logic of exponential growth.

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BRITAIN could see as many as 10,000 coronavirus deaths by next week (Image: GETTY)

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And the growth rate in COVID-19 deaths in Britain has been high from the very start. (Image: GETTY)

“It looks small to start with but, by the time you've got your head round it, the numbers are multiplying at a terrible rate.”

He estimated that the UK was following Italy’s pathway and was lagging behind by about 15 days.

On Tuesday, the government announced the steepest single day rise in deaths from COVID-19.

Up to 381 new fatalities were recorded for March 30, bringing the national death toll to 1,789, while the total number of infections stood at 25,150 according to data provided by wordometers.info.

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COVID-19 contagion was showing early signs of slowing. (Image: GETTY)

By comparison Italy has 105,792 cases of coronavirus, with 12,428 deaths.

Mr Conway’s remarks come after one of the leading scientists advising the government’s coronavirus response claimed that there could already be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Professor Neil Ferguson said that new data showed that the COVID-19 contagion was showing early signs of slowing.

The epidemiologist told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “In the UK, we can see some early signs of slowing in some indicators.

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if the growth rate continued like that, in a week's time there would be 10,000 people dead (Image: GETTY)

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Up to 381 new fatalities were recorded for March 30, bringing the national death toll to 1,789 (Image: GETTY)

“Less so in deaths because deaths are lagged by long time from when the measures come into force.

“But we look at the numbers of new hospital admissions today, for instance, that does seem to be slowing down a little bit now.

“It’s not yet plateaued as the numbers are increasing each day but the rate of that increase has slowed.

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Social Distancing (Image: EXPRESS)

“We see similar patterns in a number of European countries.”

Professor Ferguson estimated that between 3-5 percent of people in central London could have been infected, while the figure for the country at large was likely to be between 2-3 percent.

He argued that it was vital to develop and introduce antibody tests as quickly as possible to determine whether people had already been infected.

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The NHS will need as many as 30,000 ventilators to cope with demand (Image: GETTY)

He claimed that such a test was in the “final stages of validation” and hoped that it could be operational within days.

The professor’s assessment provides hope that the current lockdown could work in stopping the spread of the disease.

However, he acknowledged that testing would have to be increased in order for the lockdown to be eased.

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