UK Health Officials Suggest Coronavirus Pandemic Could See Up to 7.9 Mln Britons Infected - Report

The number of newly registered cases of the contagious Chinese coronavirus infection, known as COVID-19, continued its disturbing rise on Sunday, displaying an increase by 232 patients in the nation, according to the UK Department of Health.

The UK Public Health England (PHE) agency issued a document that includes a projection for the ongoing spread of the Wuhan coronavirus across Britain, Sky News reported.

The PBE document, seen by the British broadcaster, highlighted several serious vulnerabilities in the nation's healthcare system that could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases in the very near future.

"Laboratory capacity is growing steadily but remains under significant demand pressures", the PBR report said, stressing that British healthcare staffers - who allegedly show symptoms of the pneumonia-type infection - would not necessarily all be tested, according to Sky News.

The PHE directly indicates that the coronavirus pandemic could see up to 7.9 million people infected, if the current healthcare situation does not change.

"PHE used reasonable worse-case scenario figures, to restate the importance for people with symptoms to stay at home, including health care workers in order to reduce the spread of the virus", Dr Susan Hopkins, deputy director of PHE's national infection service said, cited by Sky News.

Earlier, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on representatives of British business to increase the production of necessary medical equipment.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address British manufacturers in a bid to set out what they can do to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.