Coronavirus lockdown could last 18 MONTHS as government says 260,000 would die without drastic measures – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS lockdowns could last for an incredible 18 MONTHS as Brits brace themselves for significant changes to daily life.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the nation yesterday of drastic new government measures to curb the killer bug – as researchers warned 260,000 people could have died without them.

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Researchers involved in the government curbs on daily life estimate 260,000 people would have died under the previous, less restricted, plans.

Brits have been told not to leave the house unless necessary and to work from home where possible, and avoid social contact.

The team from Imperial College London said the new tighter controls could limit deaths to around 20,000 – with the leading professor admitting the best case scenario would still see tens of thousands die.

The country could be stuck in a state of "permanent outbreak" and lockdown until a vaccine is found – which is at least a year away – experts warned.

Cases in the UK have soared to 1,543 and 55 people have now died from the killer bug as the pandemic continues to rampage through the country.

Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC centre at Imperial, said today the UK is three weeks behind Italy, warning there was "no time to lose" as the NHS will be "overwhelmed many times over" in the fight against COVID-19.

He added the government got the timing of the lockdown "just about right" as it became unavoidable to no longer take stronger action.

The Imperial report found the best course of action was a Chinese-style "suppression" policy implementing social distancing for the entire population.

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