Coronavirus: UK has to get head around major changes, says Jeremy Hunt

28 February 2020, 07:58 | Updated: 28 February 2020, 08:14

The former Health Secretary has told LBC that coronavirus is going to have a profound impact on the UK.

England's chief medical officer has said it's "just a matter of time" until coronavirus spreads across the UK - and he warned that schools may have to close for months and sporting events could be cancelled

Jeremy Hunt is the former Heath Secretary - as well as Foreign Secretary - and told LBC that this is a vital time in the fight against the virus.

Read more: Coronavirus - all the most common questions answered by an expert

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "We are at an absolute crunch moment.

"The news that the financial markets are really being impacted - the Dow Jones down 10% in just one week - is an indication that this is no longer something that is just happening in one country and it's going to be contained there and we'll be able to carry on with our lives as normal.

"This is going to have a very profound impact."

Nick Ferrari spoke to Jeremy Hunt about the spread of coronavirus
Nick Ferrari spoke to Jeremy Hunt about the spread of coronavirus. Picture: LBC

The government's worst case scenario is that 70% of the population are affected by the virus , but Mr Hunt pointed out that China have got on top of it with less than 5% getting it.

Responding to questions on whether schools should shut to help contain Covid-19, he said: "In the UK, there are millions of lives at stake if you can contain the virus to a small percentage of the population.

"But that means trade-offs in terms of the way we operate in terms of the economy - the social impact - and I think the government is right to start to spell that out.

"If you look at what other democracies have done - Japan have closed schools for a month, Italy has locked down towns - you see that there are trade offs and we are going to have to get our head around that."

A woman wearing a facemask to ride the tube
A woman wearing a facemask to ride the tube. Picture: PA

However, he did say he had confidence in the NHS dealing with the issue, adding: "If I was going to choose a country in the world to be in when there is a pandemic, I would choose the UK because the NHS is very very good at preparing for these situations."