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Covid-19: outbreak could last until spring 2021 and see 7.9 million hospitalised in the UK

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1071 (Published 16 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1071

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The covid-19 outbreak is expected to last around one year (until spring 2021), with around 80% of the population infected and up to 15% of people (7.9 million) requiring hospitalisation in the UK, a briefing document produced by Public Health England for the government has said.

The document, seen by the Guardian, said that, of the five million people deemed vital because of their work “in essential services and critical infrastructure”—including one million NHS staff and 1.5 million social care staff—500 000 could be off sick at any one time.

Overall, at least 10% of people in the UK will have a cough at any one time in the peak months. Those with a …

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