Coronavirus deaths in the UK passed 20,000 yesterday, as scientists have warned that the sad tribute could TRIPLE.
The Washington University of Seattle analysis warns that the British should expect 37,494 deaths by August 4.
But the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has predicted that it could even reach 62,500.
Last month the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said that a death toll of 20,000 would be “a good result”.
Home secretary Priti Patel said yesterday at the press conference no. 10: “While the deaths caused by this terrible virus outweigh another tragic and terrible milestone, the whole nation is in mourning.”
And Care England says the numbers could be inflated by an additional 7,500 deaths in nursing homes.
But even though the economy is in crisis and former Chancellor Philip Hammond has joined the calls to ease the blockade, Ms Patel has not put forward any prospect of a rapid return to normal.
He said: “We know people are frustrated, but we are not out of danger. It is imperative that people continue to follow the rules.
“I know I would like you to give yourself a date to reopen schools, but we won’t. We want to prevent a second wave of this horrendous virus. To do this we must make sure that we continue the measures in place. “
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, also said that the blockade should not be lifted in advance.
He said: “This is a global health crisis once a century. It is a very sad day for the nation: 20,000 deaths are clearly 20,000 in excess.
“Even the countries that have put themselves on top of this start are starting to see new infections. It will not be something that we will begin to overcome in the coming weeks. “
Yesterday’s data showed 20,319 deaths in the UK, an increase of 813.
But doctors believe that we peaked with the drop in hospital admissions.
Four other countries have overcome 20,000 deaths: the United States (53,243), Italy (26,384), Spain (22,902) and France (22,614). Another tragic milestone has also been overcome – with over 200,000 deaths worldwide.