Coronavirus: Britain one of three countries expected to record over 5,000 deaths in coming days

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A man in a face mask walks past graffiti in support of the NHS on Wanstead Flats in East London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man in a face mask walks past graffiti in support of the NHS on Wanstead Flats in East London. (PA)

Britain is projected to have one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world in the coming days.

A study carried out by a number of institutions, including Imperial College London, found that the UK is one of three countries that will have a “very large” number of deaths from the pandemic in the next week.

According to their models, the UK, US and France are all expected to worst hit – with an expected total of over 5,000 deaths each in the coming seven days.

Coronavirus is said to still be growing in 15 countries around the world, including in Belgium, Brazil, Japan and Mexico.

In this handout photo issued by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock, during a media briefing on coronavirus at 10 Downing Street in London, Sunday, April 12, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is praising the National Health Service staff for saving his life in a video on Twitter after his discharge from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. He said he did not have the words to properly thank the staff at NHS for “saving my life.” He lauded two nurses Johnson said stood by his bedside for 48 hours “when things could have gone either way.” (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday that 17,366 people have died so far in UK hospitals. (PA)

However, the researchers also said they believe the pandemic is “stabilising or growing slowly” in the UK and 18 other countries.

They also claim coronavirus is “likely declining” in six countries around the world – Greece, Iran, Italy, Morocco, Spain and the Dominican Republic.

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It comes as health secretary Matt Hancock announced on Tuesday that 17,366 people have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, an increase of 852 on the previous day’s total.

However, he claimed the plan to protect the NHS by flattening the curve and protecting capacity was "working".

"At no point in this crisis has anyone who could benefit from critical care been denied that care because there weren't enough staff, or beds, or ventilators to treat them," he said.

Some 535,342 tests have been carried out in the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, so far, 129,044 of which have tested positive, while the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 symptoms is down to 17,681, he said.

Hancock added that people can spread COVID-19 without exhibiting symptoms is "one of the central facts" of the pandemic making it so challenging.

He said: "The fact that this virus appears to have asymptomatic transmission makes it incredibly difficult to deal with and is one of the central facts of this pandemic that has made it as difficult and as challenging as it is.

"These are exactly the right scientific questions that we are also grappling with."

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