Coronavirus ‘accelerating’ in UK as fears grow of Italy-like trajectory

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Sunday the coronavirus outbreak was “accelerating”, as fears grew that the crisis in Britain was following the same path as the one devastating Italy. Johnson said the health service could be “overwhelmed” as health department figures showed that 233 people died from COVID-19 in the UK, with the number of those testing positive for the virus standing at 5,018.

Britain’s death toll now mirrors the figure that Rome declared just over two weeks ago, on March 7, before Italy became the world’s most affected country. On Sunday, Italy said that 4,825 people had died from the virus there, a third of the world’s total. The UK figure rose by at least 10 on Sunday, with announcements of further deaths in Scotland and Wales. An updated UK-wide figure was expected later.

He said the government would get protective gear to NHS staff on the frontline “as soon as possible” amid fears the virus could be spreading due to a lack of equipment for medics. In a further sign of growing concern, environmental and heritage charity the National Trust said it would close all of its parks and gardens.

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