Coronavirus Explosion In Welsh Region Resembles Italy ‘Pattern’, UK Daily Deaths Break 100

A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks along Westminster Bridge in front of the Houses of Parliament in London on March 12, 2020. - The British government was expected Thursday to implement the second phase of its plan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak but rejected calls for parliament to …
ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images

The British coronavirus death toll has risen to 578, seeing its biggest daily increase with 115 coronavirus fatalities in 24 hours — and an explosion of cases in Gwent, Wales.

All told there were 11,658 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom as of Thursday.

The United Kingdom is thought to be approximately two weeks behind Italy in the severity of its coronavirus outbreak — but the health chief in Wales is worried that one region in the country is following “the same pattern as Italy”.

Gwent in south Wales has seen 309 confirmed cases of the Chinese virus — almost half of the total 628 infections in the British home nation — which has made the Welsh county the second worst-affected region after London, taking over from the West Midlands in England, according to The Times.

Dr Sarah Aitken, who is the director of public health at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board district, said: “In Gwent, we are seeing a rapidly rising increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the community, the number of people being admitted to hospital and the number of people dying of the virus.

“The pattern we are seeing in Gwent is the same pattern seen in Italy, where their healthcare system is now overwhelmed. Without a huge effort by all of us, we are heading to the moments where our health service will be overwhelmed too.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said during the daily press briefing in Downing Street on Thursday that social distancing measures meant that there was “some helpful movement” in the fatalities curve.

The number of fatalities has been roughly doubling every two days, and there are signs that the rate may be slowing down and moving closer towards every three days, according to government experts. 98 per cent of total fatalities are said to have had underlying health conditions.

Dr Harries said in comments reported by The Sun: “What we will be looking for is a change in the slope rather than a very steep curve upwards, we will be looking for it to be a gentler slope.

“But we must not take our foot off the pedal. People have been really co-operating and in the last few days — the public have really understood that this is something very serious and their actions, wherever they are, will save lives.

“So, too early to say yet but starting to move in the right direction.”

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