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expert reaction to death in the UK of a 47-year-old who tested positive for COVID-19, who did not have underlying health conditions

A 47 year old patient in the UK suffering from COVID-19, who had no underlying health symptoms, has died.


Prof James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, University of Oxford, said:

“Every one of the deaths is, for the families and friends, a tragedy.  That the number of deaths is less than yesterday is a relief.  However, just as the headlines of death toll ‘worse than Italy’ were misguided and based on over interpretation of a single day, a lower number today on its own is not a reliable guide.  The government’s measures will take time both to have their effect and to be confirmed as working.  I would urge people neither to panic nor celebrate on the basis of the numbers on any single day, rather we all need to focus on social distancing and kindness.  We have the best epidemiologists in the world, only their complex mathematical analysis of the data can tell us what is happening.

“No one has ever claimed that the virus would leave apparently healthy younger people completely untouched, the sad death of the 47-year-old confirms what the Chinese data had told us – no one is entirely safe.  We must all follow the government advice on social distancing, not just for the benefit of the vulnerable but for all our sakes.”


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