London, March 16 (IANS) A leaked UK government document has warned that up to 80 per cent of the country’s population “are expected” to be infected with coronavirus, while up to 15 per cent or 7.9 million people might require hospitalisation, a media report said.
“As many as 80 per cent of the population are expected to be infected with COVID-19 in the next 12 months, and up to 15 per cent (7.9 million people) may require hospitalisation,” the Metro newspaper said in the report on Sunday citing the Public Health England document as saying.
The revelation comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has jumped by 232 in just one day, while 14 more people have died, taking the total number of infections and fatalities to 1,372 and 35, respectively, as of Sunday.
The document has been drawn up by the emergency preparedness and response team and approved by Susan Hopkins, the lead official working on the epidemic in the UK.
The document warned that an estimated 500,000 of the 5 million people considered vital because they work “in essential services and critical infrastructure” could be away from work unwell at any given time during the peak of the epidemic which could last months.
It also warned that even National Health Services (NHS) staff who show symptoms will be tested.