LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s novel coronavirus outbreak is starting to peak but it is too early to lift the lockdown because the virus would “run rampant” if the government eased social distancing measures, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday.
“We think it is too early to make a change,” Hancock said. “While we’ve seen a flattening of the number of cases, and thankfully a flattening of the number of deaths, that hasn’t started to come down yet.”
The United Kingdom’s hospital death toll from COVID-19 rose by 761 to 12,868 as of 1600 on April 14, the health ministry said, though broader statistics suggest the total toll is much larger.
“If we just released all the measures now then this virus would run rampant once again and we can’t let that happen,” Hancock said.