Officials in the UK fear that up to 100,000 people could die before they could contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as 64 new cases were announced today, the biggest increase ever since the recording of the infections.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold an emergency Cobra meeting on Monday to discuss how to halt the spread of the killer bug.
The Department of Health and Social Care said 273 people had tested positive – up from 209 yesterday. According to The Sun, the jump of 64 cases comes after the “worst case scenario” of 100,000 deaths were revealed by the Sunday Times overnight.
One official who has been involved in the planning said: “The central estimate of deaths is about 100,000.
“Everyone has been focusing on the worst case but this is what the experts actually expect to happen. Some of those people would have died of other flus.”
The death toll remains at two after two elderly patients in Milton Keynes and Berkshire became the first to die from the disease in the UK.
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who sits on the Cobra committee, today said a 100,000 coronavirus death toll was a “worst case scenario”.
Among the 100,000 are those most likely to die from seasonal flu, which averaged 17,000 over the past five years.
Coronavirus cases in the UK had previously doubled in 48 hours, shooting up by 42 on Sturday, reported The Sun.
Two of today’s cases were in Wales – members of the same home of two previous cases in Pembrokeshire who had recently travelled back from northern Italy.
There are now 18 cases in Scotland, seven in Northern Ireland and 19 in the Republic of Ireland.