UK Coronavirus epidemic "inevitable" says Deputy Chief Medical Officer

7 March 2020, 09:37 | Updated: 7 March 2020, 09:48

By Seán Hickey

It is inevitable that the UK will face a coronavirus epidemic in the coming months according to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

Dr. Jenny Harries was on the line with Andrew Castle discussing how the UK's health infrastructure is coping with the current coronavirus outbreak and how it is set up to cope in the event of a spread.

Andrew Castle was curious of the news coming from Public Health England that suggests there would be an epidemic lasting roughly three months.

Andrew wanted to know the basis of the assumptions and how accurate the modelling that the body was using is. Dr. Harries explained that the platform was based off predictions made from previous flu pandemics and reevaluated through the facts that Public Health England currently has.

"We expect an epidemic to lsat about 12 weeks" Dr. Harries admitted from the findings of the report.

Public Health England expects a 12 week epidemic of Covid-19
Public Health England expects a 12 week epidemic of Covid-19. Picture: PA

Andrew dissected the information and findings of the report, wondering whether based off the findings the UK should be prepared for a pandemic.

Dr. Harries pointed out that the Chief Medical Officer has already stated that in the UK the chances are "slim to nil, the chance that we won't" face an epidemic

"We are feeling that it is coming our way" Dr. Jenny Harries stated. When quizzed on what the public can do to be safe in the event of an outbreak, the Deputy Chief assured people that maintaining good personal hygiene can help a great deal in combatting the disease.

Dr. Harries told Andrew that best practice is to be "washing our hands more frequently" and having good respiratory hygiene such as sneezing into a tissue and disposing the tissue safely will also help you manage during the spread.