Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19: 90% of cases will hit NHS over nine week period, chief medical officer warns

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 05 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m918

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Nearly all covid-19 cases will hit the NHS in a “heavily concentrated” burst, with 50% of cases predicted to happen over a three week period and 90% over nine weeks, says the chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty.

Speaking to the Health and Social Care Committee on 5 March, Whitty said that the NHS would be put under huge pressure and would have to push some routine care to before or after the expected peak of cases.

Adding more detail to the government’s suggestion1 that retired doctors could be called “back to duty,” he said that doctors who had retired in the past two to three years would be considered and that he was “confident” that many would …

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