US, Britain brace for soaring death tolls

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10 Downing Street handout photo of Prime Minister Boris Johnson clapping outside 11 Downing Street in London to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Issue date: Thursday April 2, 2020.

The US and Britain are bracing for one of their bleakest weeks in living memory yesterday as the social and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic deepened.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was infected last month, was hospitalized overnight in what his office described as a “precautionary step” after persistent symptoms.

The 55-year-old Conservative leader, who had a fever for days, is the first known head of government to fall ill with the disease. He remained at the helm of the government and was awaiting test results yesterday.

“(I’m) sure this is very frustrating for him…(but) nonetheless he’s still very much in charge,” Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC. Still, Mr Jenrick did not rule out a longer hospitalisation.

In Washington, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered a stark warning about the surge of coronavirus deaths the nation is facing.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbour moment, our 9/11 moment,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

More than 9,600 people have died of the virus in the US, and it leads the world in confirmed infections at more than 337,000.

In New York City, daily confirmed deaths dropped slightly.

Source: Agencies.