With a record of 6,077 deaths, Italy has officially crossed the number of deaths in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. And because the beginning phase of the outbreak in the UK had followed patterns that closely follow how it all went down in Italy, many are afraid that Britain too will be reliving the massive death scale like that in Italy, but will it? 

As per the statistics, Italy had reported 176 deaths due to Covid-19 in week 10 of 2020, while 166 deaths have been reported by UK in week 12.

“It looks as though we are two weeks behind Italy in number of Covid-19 deaths,” said Prof Sheila Bird, formerly of the MRC’s Biostatistics Unit at Cambridge University. “But all this means is that we have comparable population sizes and had a comparable number of deaths in week 12 as Italy had in week 10. We may be on a less steep trajectory than Italy, but it’s too early to know yet.”

The deaths in the UK are rising at a scale of 30% compared to Italy’s 37%

As per a new analysis by Prof David Spiegelhalter, at Cambridge University’s Statistical Laboratory, wherein numbers of deaths reported in the 14 days since the fifth fatality in each country were tallied, it was found that UK Covid-19 deaths are rising by 30% per day. This is marginally lower than the 37% spike Italy had observed during that phase. 

While this analysis certainly “some reason for hope”, Spiegelhalter has cautioned that the UK “must be ready for having hundreds of deaths a day.”

The fact that Britain had more time to prepare to fight the virus and also has a lower percentage of older people

Unlike Italy, which had less time to prepare, Britain had more time to employ effective measures, but whether it will have any effect on the death toll is yet to be seen. There is also the fact that the UK is far better equipped to provide intensive health care than Italy. 

“When you hit the capacity of intensive care beds then you might get an additional shift up which could reset the rate of increase thereafter,” said Bird.

The fact that Covid-19 proves to be more dangerous for older people and 23% of Italy’s population is aged 65 and over explains its towering death toll. But the UK has only 18% of people who fall into this category. 

Coronavirus COVID 19 Italy People wear face masks wait at the Termini Central Station during the Coronavirus emergency, on March 9, 2020 in Rome, Italy. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the closure of the Italian region of Lombardy in an attempt to stop the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the Italian country. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 6387, while the death toll has surpassed 366. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images) Antonio Masiello/Getty Images