The coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9m people being hospitalised, reports an exclusive story in The Guardian
The shocking revelation was gathered from a secret Public Health England briefing for senior NHS officials
The document is the first time health chiefs tackling the virus have admitted that they expect it to circulate for another 12 months and lead to huge extra strain on an already overstretched NHS.
It also suggests that health chiefs are braced for as many as 80% of Britons becoming infected with the coronavirus over that time.
The document says that: “As many as 80% of the population are expected to be infected with Covid-19 in the next 12 months, and up to 15% (7.9m people) may require hospitalisation.”
The document also states that:
The health service cannot cope with the sheer number of people with symptoms who need to be tested because laboratories are “under significant demand pressures”
From now on only the very seriously ill who are already in hospital and people in care homes and prisons where the Coronavirus has been detected will get tested
Testing services are under such strain that even NHS staff will not be swabbed, despite their key role and the risk of them passing the virus on to patients
Six coronavirus cases at Lanarkshire care home
Six care home residents have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Highgate Care Home in North Lanarkshire said it had put in place “strict infection control measures” after it identified the positive cases of Covid-19.
Staff, residents and their families are being informed.
John Kirk, managing director of the care home, said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues is of paramount importance. As such, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep them safe.
“We are working closely with all the relevant bodies, including NHS Lanarkshire and Health Protection Scotland, as we implement our comprehensive contingency plan, which includes closing the home to all but absolutely essential visitors, and continuing to take steps to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and infection control.”
Dr John Logan, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said: “We appreciate this is a very worrying time for many people.
“Highgate Care Home has implemented infection prevention and control measures and the NHS Lanarkshire Health Protection Team will continue to provide advice and support to the care home manager and staff.”