A disease expert has self-isolated with coronavirus symptoms just days after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Neil Ferguson, head of the Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, met with Boris and other Downing Street officials on Monday.
He tweeted this morning: "Developed a slight dry but persistent cough yesterday and self isolated even though I felt fine.
"Then developed high fever at 4am today. There is a lot of COVID-19 in Westminster."
Prof Ferguson’s team produced a report that has accelerated the government’s response to the virus.
It warned the death toll could reach 510,000 in Britain without stringent measures.
The British government’s previous plan to control the virus involving home isolation of suspect cases, but not including restrictions on wider society, could have resulted in 250,000 people dying, the researchers said.
This approach would “likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over".
Ferguson earlier said the UK was three weeks behind Italy and two weeks behind France and Spain in terms of the virus’s spread.
His study warned: "We therefore conclude that epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time. The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound."
The government yesterday announced the death toll had reached 71 in the UK, with two new fatalities confirmed in Milton Keynes this morning.
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The patients were both in their 90s and had underlying health conditions, and were immediately put into isolation.
Both were admitted to Milton Keynes Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms and died over the weekend, the Milton Keynes Citizen reports.
Health authorities are expected to make an official announcement today.
It brings the death toll in Milton Keynes to three.
The latest patients had no connection with each other and neither were they related to the first victim at the hospital, an 83-year-old man who died on March 5.
- Boris Johnson
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