Stephen Dorrell stunned BBC Newsnight with the admission as the latest death toll from the disease worldwide hit more than 2,500. The former Health Secretary explained that the UK shouldn’t “go back to a world where the people in the next village are suspect”. He admitted that the UK has been struggling to adapt to the disease as it had been creating “policy on the run”.
However, he did say that the UK must “maintain open trade and open human contact” with different societies and nations.
Speaking on the show, he said: “Inevitably we are making policy on the run, and what we’re trying to do is to balance some conflicting interest.
“We live in an interconnected world, we surely don’t want to go back to a world where the people in the next village are suspect.
“So we need to maintain that open trade and that open human contact.
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He admitted that the UK has been struggling to adapt to the disease
“While at the same time take proportionate steps to limit the growth of a new disease.
“We also have to remember that although this is a disease that has been fatal in some cases, we need to remember the relatively low level of fatalities among the normally healthy population.”
It comes as fears that around 80 percent of Brits could be hit by the disease.
A doomsday simulator predicted that more than 50 million people could contract the disease.
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That would result in around 500,000 deaths, The Sun predicted.
The scenario was published after two new cases emerged in the UK after four Japanese cruise ship victims were brought back to the country.
The report predicted infection rates will snowball for two to three months once the bug starts spreading, which would “cripple” the NHS.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said yesterday that entire families could be told to self-isolate during a major outbreak.
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So far more than 2,500 people have died worldwide
He said: “There’s no secret there’s a variety of things you need to look at, like school closures.”
Currently, only high-risk individuals are asked to stay at home to limit the spread of Covid-19.
He added: “We might want to look at things like should people stay at home with their families in that situation.
“It’s one of the things we would want to think about.”