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Thursday 6th August 2020

Coronavirus: Experts predict worst could be over by Easter

Top doctor says NHS can cope - if we all do our bit

Experts have predicted the coronavirus crisis could be over by Easter.

That depends on everyone doing their bit and listening to Government advice regarding social distancing and other measures.

It would mean the NHS could cope with the extra demand due to COVID-19 cases.

Chris Whitty said everyone needs to play their part (Credit: Splash News)

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty made the prediction at the daily No. 10 briefing which has become a feature of public life since the reality of the coronavirus crisis hit the UK.

He admitted it could be "a close run thing" as the number of cases increases, putting strain and pressure on the NHS.

"Providing people keep to social distancing measures that will help to pull down the demand, a very long way," he said.

"It is how the general public are helping to protect the NHS.

"We are increasing supply [in the NHS] by pushing back things that can be postponed, and increasing critical care and ventilators in the next few weeks."

Health secretary Matt Hancock has promised more testing kits for the coronavirus (Credit: Splash News)

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Professor Whitty also praised the "fantastic work" of NHS workers.

"Providing people keep to social distancing measures that will help to pull down the demand, a very long way."

He said that if everybody follows the guidelines, avoiding all but essential travel and only leaving the house for daily exercise and to get essential supplies, the NHS should cope.

"Probably manageable for the NHS"

Professor Whitty said that then the crisis will "probably be manageable for the NHS".

"We cannot guarantee that, but that is what we are planning for and what we intend to happen," he added.

Read more: Coronavirus: UK home testing kits 'out in days'

It comes as experts predict that London could run out of critical ICU beds in just four days.

In many other parts of the country, the peak is expected to arrive in about two weeks, which would coincide with Easter.

The current lockdown has been set out for at least three weeks.

That could be extended depending on how successful it is at stemming the spread and reducing the number of fatal cases of COVID-19.

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