How is the Coronavirus Impacting The UK?
As you will all know, the number of confirmed covid-19 cases in the UK is constantly rising, jumping by hundreds each day. The current number of infections within the UK has risen to 1,391 with 35 deaths according to the Department of Health. Unfortunately, along with the virus impacting peoples health, it is also impacting business, the economy, food supplies and of course, healthcare providers. Carry on reading to understand some of the major issues that the coronavirus has brought to the UK.
What is Coronavirus?
The coronavirus (covid-19) is an illness which will affect your lungs and airways. The chances of you contracting the coronavirus are likely and they may affect you more if you have underlying health conditions. For some people, the virus will cause serious, life-threatening symptoms which will need medical attention. Whereas others will only get mild symptoms which they might not even realise.
Predictions for Covid-19
On the 12th of March, Professor Chris Whitty said that he expects the UK will reach its peak outbreak in 10 to 14 weeks. This puts the peak to be in May/June.
This view similarly links to the predictions created by the Department of Health. They suggest that the peak is likely in about three months when 95 per cent of the infections are expected to take place.
Impact One: Food Supply Shortages
Everyone who has recently been to any supermarket will understand the stress and worry of the food shortages. It feels as though the aisles which hold the pasta, toilet roll, soap and the rice are constantly empty. In reality, the shops do re-stock the shelves often. But, when people are seeing that there is nothing left, they then feel the need to visit the shops and panic buy everything they possibly can.
Boris Johnston has suggested that there is no need for people to stockpile food and household goods. He has announced that there is enough food to feed the country.
Impact Two: Declining Economy
Britain’s economy will suffer a “significant but temporary” impact from the coronavirus.
According to the House of Commons Library, prior to the virus’ outbreak, the UK economy was expected to grow at around 1% during 2020.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak predicted that the coronavirus outbreak would cause mass disruption to the UK economy. He even announced that it is likely that up to one in five workers will be unable to attend work. As a result of this, UK businesses won’t be able to produce as much as they have been doing before the virus. As well as this, the virus will probably set a lot of businesses and chains back in progress. This will keep them from reaching the potential they could have in 2020.
He also suggested that consumer spending would be negatively affected. Although people are bulk buying in shops for essentials, the overall spending will be impacted as people are being told to stay at home, even if they don’t necessarily have the virus.
Impact Three: Strain on Health Care Workers
The majority of people who contract the coronavirus will not need to be hospitalised. Although, there are still thousands who will. Unfortunately, hospitals in the UK are not big enough for everyone. Therefore, the government are buying beds in private hospitals and are filling up empty hotels. The demand for beds isn’t the only factor which the hospitals are in need of. Along with that, they’re in desperate need of staff.
Not only this but due to the rise in coronavirus cases, hospitals are now cancelling and postponing operations. This is so they can prepare for the influx of coronavirus patients.