CORONAVIRUS: Le Royaume-Uni fera face à Débâcle

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L’« immunité collective », stratégie risquée du Royaume-Uni pour lutter contre le coronavirus

Royaume-Uni: que est-ce que le gouvernement Britannique faire face au virus?

Depuis le début de la crise, Boris Johnson a choisi une approche calme et «décontractée» face au coronavirus.

Cliquez pour en savoir plus en en français: Matthew Feargrieve

As the World Health Organization (WHO) criticizes the UK government for burying its head in the sand, worrying signs increasingly come from the UK government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

We ask whether the UK's handling of the rapid spread of CORONAVIRUS is based on political posturing, rather than hard medical science.

The WHO estimates a mortality rate of 3.5%: this equates to 210,000 people in the UK who will die of the virusAnd this is just a minimum figure.

Today, as the UK government seems to turn its back on global medial advice, more and more people join the demand for self-imposed social distancing and self-isolating.   

Does this mean that the UK will ignore the lessons being learned about the virus in Italy and in China?

British Stiff Upper Lip

The UK government seems determined to carry on as normal. Schools, universities and places of work — including Parliament — will remain open. Trains and buses will stick to their schedules. Under no circumstances will cities be closed off and their populations quarantined in their homes. The UK populace is being told to wash their hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds on each occasion. They are told to blow their noses into tissue and bin it. They are told not to touch their faces. They are told to stay at home if they are unwell. These steps are minimal, non-interventionist ones, designed to delay the inevitable spread of the virus.

Normality is to be preserved, no matter what. People in the UK are being told by the government that the mortality rate will be less than 1%, a figure based on the expectation that there are many more people with the virus than reported. On the other hand, the figure given by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 3.5%, a number that is holding up not just in China but in other major outbreaks around the world. Indeed, the WHO has urged governments around the world to spare no effort in taking pro-active measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Les autorités médicales font face au bouleversement du virus

“Negligent” and “ridiculous” is how many doctors have described the UK government’s response to COVID-19. There are insufficient beds and health workers in Britain's hospitals, even at the best of times, and beds for the critically ill and ventilators are in even shorter supply. As the UK Chancellor Stands up today in the House of Commons, the eyes of the UK population - and the world - will be on how the UK administration copes with Coronavirus from both a political, and a medical perspective. The indications at the moment, though, are not encouraging. It is to be hoped that the British government can get the balance between political robustness and the welfare of the population of the UK right.

WHO: Europe now the"hub" of the virus 

We know that Iran has dug pits for the dead that are visible from space. We do not yet know how long the virus will hold Italy and the rest of Europe in its grasp. And China, despite what the so-called experts tell us, is not done yet. Thousands more deaths are expected.


Look at Italy. One week after it hit 320 cases, the country reported 2,036; a week later, nearly 10,000; next week that number will likely rise to 50,000 or more. There’s nothing In the UK, the NHS has around 4,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in England, 80% of which are already full. If we follow the same trajectory as Italy, with 10% of coronavirus patients needing ICU treatment, we will need 200 beds next week, 1,000 the week after. That’s already the entire ICU capacity. Every two days after that, we will need twice the number of beds again. No wonder the breaking news today is that the NHS is spending millions in order to rent beds from private hospitals.


Unabated, we could see a million coronavirus cases or more in a month’s time. The Italian mortality rate seems much higher than China's (around 7%, versus 4%), a fact mostly explained by how Italian local healthcare has been pushed to breaking point. Reading the accounts of Italian doctors dealing with their outbreak reads like a warzone. Hospitals diverting all clinical staff to the care of ventilated patients. This is not healthcare but “catastrophe medicine”, of the kind one usually encounters on the battlefield. 

The virus is on the brink of making the UK look like a a war-afflicted, third-world country.

Read more of Matthew Feargrieve's blogs on coronavirus and what it means for the UK here:   

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