The three Coronavirus signs to watch for as UK warned ‘many thousands’ of Brits will be infected
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Speaking to Sky News, she said: "We currently have relatively few cases here, which is why we are still in the containment phase."
"Obviously we will have significant numbers in a way in which the country is not used to. This is the sort of thing that professionally we're trained for and very rarely see, almost in a professional lifetime.
"Large numbers of the population will become infected because it's a naive population, nobody has got antibodies to this virus currently.
"We will see many thousands of people infected by coronavirus, that's what we're seeing in other countries and the important thing for us is to make sure that we manage those infections."
The fifth person to die from coronavirus in the UK was confirmed this morning (March 10).
The latest person to die from the virus was in their 70s and had underlying health conditions, according to the UK government's chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has said “common sense to prevail” and travel rules must be relaxed as flight operators face turbulent times with falling demand.
The company has called on the European Commission and UK flight slots co-ordinator to relax rules amid the outbreak.
Chief executive Shai Weiss said: "Last month Virgin Atlantic and industry partners committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050.
"Passenger demand for air travel has dramatically fallen due to Covid-19 and in some instances we are being forced to fly almost empty planes or lose our valuable slots.”
As numbers rise, symptoms have ranged from people who are infected but have no symptoms, through mild symptoms, to severe cases requiring hospital treatment and death.
The main symptoms listed on the NHS website are a cough, shortness of breath and a high temperature.
The World Health Organisation adds that while the most common symptoms are fever, tiredness and dry cough, symptoms can also include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.