UK virus ‘accelerating’ amid fears country on same path as Italy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns the coronavirus outbreak is “accelerating,” as fears grow that the crisis in Britain is following the same path as the one devastating Italy.

Johnson’s plea coems after latest health department figures showed that 233 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK, with the number of those testing positive for the virus standing at 5,018.

That death toll mirrors the figure declared in Italy on March 7. On Saturday, Rome said that 4,825 people had perished in the country, a third of the world’s total.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses a news conference on the government’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, inside 10 Downing Street in London on March 20, 2020 (JULIAN SIMMONDS / POOL / AFP)

“The numbers are very stark, and they are accelerating,” Johnson says in a statement ahead of a planned press briefing later in the day. “We are only a matter of weeks — two or three — behind Italy. The Italians have a superb health care system. And yet their doctors and nurses have been completely overwhelmed by the demand.”


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