Things expected to get worse in UK before they get better

The British government’s chief scientific adviser is warning that the UK’s daily death toll from coronavirus will likely rise this week before plateauing for potentially two to three weeks, and then subsequently declining.

Patrick Vallance said at the government’s daily press briefing that the UK is tracking behind Italy, the European country with the highest death toll from COVID-19, and “following the same sort of path.”

He said he thinks “we are going to see a further increase” this week before a plateau, as the effects of social distancing come through.

Earlier, government figures showed that another 717 people who had tested positive for the coronavirus died in the hospital, taking the total in the UK up to 11,329.

Though that was the third straight daily decline in the daily death toll, Vallance’s comments suggest that the numbers may have been artificially depressed over the four-day Easter holiday weekend.

With Italy seemingly having reached the other side of the peak, there are growing expectations that the UK will end up being the European country with the most coronavirus-related deaths.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputizing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while the premier convalesces following his week-long stay in a hospital with coronavirus, says the government does ”not expect to make any changes” to the lockdown measures in place when it assesses the situation this week.

— AP

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