Coronavirus Impacting UK Businesses And Individuals
The UK has been placed on high alert in recent days as the as the total UK confirmed cases of the Coronavirus surpassed 36.
Overall, the COVID-19 virus has infected 89,198 people with over 80,000 cases diagnosed in China alone, the original source of the outbreak. Of this total, 3,048 people have died.
Whilst scientists are quick to point out that the virus should have no more than around a 1 per cent fatality rate, experts are also warning the UK to prepare for the virus to spread in the weeks and months ahead.
Already, death rates are exceeding the 1 per cent estimate globally with 3.4 per cent of infected people dying from the virus.
Some have speculated that up to 60 per cent of the UK’s 66 million population could become infected with the virus before it is brought under control.
This could mean that over 400,000 UK citizens lose their life to the virus.
As it stands, 22 per cent of all infected people in the UK have made full recoveries with no confirmed UK deaths.
However, disruption to business is already taking its toll on the financial markets with stock exchanges suffering their worst week since the 2008 financial crash as the FTSE 100 ended the week down 3.8 per cent.
Businesses are being forced to consider strategies of working as the outbreak reaches its peak. With the risk of life potentially greater than original estimates suggested, at risk groups should prepare by ensuring that they have an up to date Will in place.
Professor Neil Ferguson, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said:
“Potentially. Given we know a lot about how these viruses are spread we have lots of data from past epidemics.
“Given how transmissible this virus appears to be and that fact that at least all adults can be infected, we have much less data in children, then 60 percent is a reasonable figure.
“Within the first 12 months or so. What we don’t know at the moment is if everybody infected. What proportion might die and what are the risk groups? Our best estimates at the moment is that maybe 1 per cent of people who get infected might die.
“I would much prefer to be accused of overreacting than under reacting. This virus is the one which probably concerns me the most out of everything I’ve worked on.”
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, said:
“Delay is the next stage of what we need to do because if we are going to get an outbreak in the UK – this is an if, not a when – but if we do, putting it back in time into the summer period, away from winter pressures on the NHS, buying us a bit more time to understand the virus better… is a big advantage.”