The UK has had a surge in diagnosed cases and deaths over the past few weeks. Its lockdown started late compared to the rest of western Europe. The initial strategy was to protect the most vulnerable and allow the rest of the country to develop herd immunity. Some say that is still part of the strategy.
Then Boris Johnson wound up in the ICU. There has still been no reporting on what treatment he received, despite reports he was “responding to treatment,” even on a website for doctors which provided a day by day account of his progress. Boris Johnson needed a “significant level of specialist treatment” at the worst points of his battle against coronavirus, according to his spokesman, and he himself said there was no question but that the NHS had saved his life. He certainly made a rapid recovery, and left the ICU having avoided ventilation.
His fiancee was also ill, but but did not require hospitalization, and 3 days ago gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
The UK is just behind Italy in the number of deaths (over 28,000) and 15% of those with a positive diagnosis in the UK have died. This makes the UK the country with the highest rate of deaths to positive COVID-19 diagnoses in the world. By comparison, the US mortality rate has remained stable over the past week, with a 5.8% mortality rate (66,383 deaths) of the total who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (1,138,834 Americans).
You might think the people of the UK would be interested in learning exactly what the prime minister’s “significant level of specialist care” entailed, and whether applying it in the rest of the UK might reduce its abysmal COVID-19 mortality rate.
Update May 4: According to the Financial Times, “David Spiegelhalter, professor of the public understanding of risk at Cambridge university, said the daily counts in the UK were “far too low” because they only accounted for hospital deaths.