UK coronavirus: Doctors say they’re like ‘soldiers preparing for battle,’ as country braces for sur…

“That made me hit a wall,” the 32-year-old said, furious that members of the public were not heeding the government’s social distancing advice as confirmed cases and deaths from the global Covid-19, or coronavirus, outbreak climbed in the UK. “These people are going to contribute to somebody needlessly dying in two weeks’ time.”

The rapidly rising number of deaths in Italy and Spain have placed Europe at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. Both countries now have higher death tolls than China, where the outbreak began, and with more than 7,500 fatalities Italy has the most deaths anywhere in the world.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last Sunday that the UK is only “two or three” weeks behind Italy, and warned that its National Health Service (NHS) could be “overwhelmed” by the virus, like its continental European counterparts. The following day, Johnson imposed the most stringent restrictions seen in Britain since the end of World War II, after it became clear that advice about social distancing was not being adhered to.

The country’s health workers are now bracing for a wave of Covid-19 patients. Sanderson’s hospital, the Whittington in north London, is one of a number of UK facilities that has already attempted to scale up capacity and transform the way it is being run, in an effort to accommodate an increase of arrivals in the past week. An emergency medicine registrar at a north London hospital, Dr. Robert Lloyd, returned from holiday this week to find…

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