As much as 80 per cent of the UK population could eventually be infected with coronavirus, according to the Government.
A National Security Communications Team document reportedly seen by The Sun suggested that four in five people in the UK could contract Covid-19.
The percentage is equivalent to more than 50 million people and would lead to around 500,000 deaths, as experts have said the disease is believed to have a mortality rate of around one per cent.
As reported by the Evening Standard, Scotland’s chief medical officer confirmed that emergency preparation has been ramped up across the UK to ensure effective measures are in place should such a situation become a reality.
A spokesperson for the Government confirmed to the publication that ministers are preparing for “every eventuality”, including “the reasonable worst case scenario” – but pointed out that such measures don’t mean it is “expected”.
They said: “We have been clear from the outset that we expect coronavirus to have some impact on the UK, which is why we are planning for every eventuality – including the reasonable worst case scenario. Crucially this does not mean we expect it to happen.”
We are planning for every eventuality – including the reasonable worst case scenario.
It follows warnings earlier this month that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak poses a bigger threat than terrorism – and could kill 45 million globally.
Experts think that for every person infected, another two and a half people will also contract the disease – meaning as much as 60 per cent of the world’s population could end up battling coronavirus.
As reported by Metro, Prof. Gabriel Leung, Hong Kong University’s chair of public health medicine, warned that people who have been infected despite having never been to China could be the “tip of the iceberg”.
Speaking to The Guardian on his way to a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gabriel said: “60 per cent of the world’s population is an awfully big number.”
As the world’s population currently stands at seven billion, the 60 per cent figure would mean four billion people. If just one percent of that number succumbed to coronavirus, the current forecast mortality rate, the death toll would hit 45 million.
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