Coronavirus: UK one of five countries predicted to have worst death tolls in coming days

Three police officers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) visit a home in Brixton, south London. (PA)

The UK is one of the five countries around the world expected to have the worst death tolls in the coming week, research has found.

A study carried out between several organisations, including Imperial College London, revealed that based on current trends, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and US are expected to record “very large” numbers of deaths.

The research found that death tolls were stabilising in several countries around the world, but the worst is yet to come for others.

In Spain, the number of deaths over the next week is predicted to “grow slowly” despite the country’s high overall death toll.

Military personnel help administer COVID-19 tests for NHS workers at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham. (PA)

However, the study found that the number of coronavirus deaths was “growing rapidly” in 26 countries around the globe – including the UK, US, India, France and Germany.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 6,159 patients have died in hospital in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health said, up by 786 from 5,373 the day before.

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The pandemic has so far infected more than 1.3 million people worldwide and over 74,000 deaths have been recorded.

Experts seem to be in consensus that a vaccine is the ultimate exit strategy from the disease.

A police van patrols Regent’s Park, North London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

But a vaccine could be 18 to 24 months away, so it would be necessary to approve drug candidates to re-purpose, to prevent or treat COVID-19 in the meantime.

And other drugs are already being trialled to see if they can be used in the fight against coronavirus.

It is hoped a vaccine may be given emergency approval before the end of the year, but most scientists agree it will be around 12 months before one is widely available for use.

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