London, April 3: The death toll due to novel coronavirus outbreak may reach its peak in the United Kingdom around the Easter Sunday. The religious event holding high relevance for the country's majority Christian population, would be observed on April 12. By the said date, the death rate in UK due to COVID-19 may surge to 1,000 per day, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Stay tuned here for the live news updates on coronavirus pandemic.
The embattled official, who is heading the Health department in the Tory government, was himself down with mild symptoms of coronavirus past week. However, his condition recovered to an extent where he was allowed to inaugurate the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London on Friday. The 4,000-bed medical facility will bolster the Britain capital's fight against coronavirus. Coronavirus Live Tracker: Map The Region Wise Spread of COVID-19.
While speaking to reporters following the hospital launch, Hancock said it is "perfectly possible" that the death rate in UK, due to the novel coronavirus, may spike to 1,000 per day. The fatality count could be even worse, the Health Secretary admitted.
Hancock, however, expressed confidence that the National Health Service (NHS) is prepared for even the worst case scenario. Even if the number of infections supersede the expected levels, the NHS is equipped and capable to handle the load of COVID-19 cases. "But we're prepared not only for that eventuality, but also in case it's worse than that," he said.
The UK has so far tested around 163,194 people - or roughly country's 0.2 percent of the population - for coronavirus. Among them, over 38,000 tested positive for the disease. The death toll surged to 3,605 on Friday, making the country more affected than Iran and China. In terms of the fatality count, the UK only precedes Italy, Spain and the United States.