UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said it was "perfectly possible" that the deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic in the country will take place on Easter Sunday, with the potential of around a thousand deaths every 24 hours until then, a media report said.
An anonymous source claimed on Thursday that the UK government had projected April 12 to be the worst day for deaths across the country - with 3,611 people already losing their lives to the virus so far, said the Metro newspaper report on Friday.
The source also alleged that the government's worst-case scenario sees 50,000 people lose their lives in the coronavirus outbreak.
Questions on peaking of the coronavirus
In an interview with Sky News on Friday, Hancock said he would not "steer you away from that" when questioned on the idea that the peak would not take place for nine more days.
However, he added that there were "a lot of things that we do not yet know and this is one of them".
"But we're prepared for not only that eventuality, but also in case it's worse than that, because I want to make sure that the NHS is prepared for all reasonable outcomes, as well as something that might be closer to the central projection," the news report quoted the Health Secretary as saying in the Sky News interview.
But a government spokesman told the Metro newspaper also on Friday that the peak of the virus does not a have "fixed date".
"We are undertaking sensible contingency planning for a wide range of scenarios, including the reasonable worst case, to ensure we are ready for all eventualities."
Hancock had also tested ositive for the virus last week.
His announcement came shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the coronavirus diagnosis, saying he had been suffering a temperature and persistent cough.
The UK's Prince Charles had also tested positive for the virus, but has since recovered.
The country has so far reported a total of 38,690 coronavirus cases