UK report: Coronavirus could kill millions without government action

A chilling new report predicts that more than half a million Brits will die, and 2.2 million Americans will be killed by COVID-19.

By Joshua Robbin Marks, World Israel News

A chilling new report forecasting a massive death toll from COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, if governments and individuals don’t take more extreme measures, has caused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reverse course in the nation’s response to the deadly disease and is influencing the policy responses in the U.S. as well.

The paper from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, titled “Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and health care demand,” predicts that if the pandemic remains uncontrolled, approximately 510,000 Brits and 2.2 million Americans will die from the disease.

The report calls coronavirus the most serious respiratory virus since the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic and goes on to recommend two possible strategies to avoid the situation seen in Italy and other countries – suppression and mitigation.

However, the report concludes with skepticism on whether suppression would even work in the long term, stating that “no public health intervention with such disruptive effects on society has been previously attempted for such a long duration of time. How populations and societies will respond remains unclear.”

The report also warns that once the restrictive measures are loosened, the virus could come back strong again.

And even if more ambitious measures are introduced by the UK and U.S. in the short term, the report says that it would slow, but not necessarily stop, fatalities from the virus – reducing mortality rates by half to 260,000 people in the UK and 1.1 million in the U.S.

But if the UK introduced the most drastic measures possible, including enforcing social distancing for the entire population, the modeling predicts the number of dead in the UK dropping to 20,000.

The modeling is based on current observations of China, South Korea, Britain and Italy.