Shock figures point to imminent surge in Covid deaths, say top scientists

Shock figures point to imminent surge in Covid deaths, say top scientists

Shock figures point to imminent surge in Covid deaths, say top scientists

The UK could soon see 50,000 new cases of coronavirus every day unless action is taken to drive down the current rate of infection, the government’s chief scientific adviser has warned.

Sir Patrick Vallance told a Downing Street briefing this morning that if the current growth in cases continued, the UK would be seeing around 50,000 coronavirus cases a day by the middle of October.

Sir Patrick said that this would then translate to “200-plus deaths a day” by mid-November.

He said the number of new Covid-19 cases was doubling roughly every seven days and continued: “The challenge therefore is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days.”

He continued: “There are already things in place which are expected to slow that, and to make sure that we do not enter this exponential growth and end up with the problems that you would predict as a result of that.

“That requires speed, it requires action and it requires and it requires enough in order to be able to bring that down.”

Sir Patrick told the briefing that around 8% of the population, approximately three million people, have been infected with the virus and therefore have antibodies.

“It means the vast majority of us are not protected in any way and are susceptible to this disease,” he added.

He continued that you could see an increase in cases across all age groups.

“Could that increase be due to increased testing? The answer is no,” he said, pointing to an ONS study and others which show similar patterns.

“It is now estimated that roughly 70,000 people in the UK have Covid infection and around 6,000 per day are getting the infection.”

He said we are now in a situation where numbers are increasing.

England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said at the briefing that the very high rates of transmission in the UK are concentrated in some areas – but there are high rates elsewhere.

“We’re seeing a rate of increase across the great majority of the country,” said Prof Whitty.

He said that anywhere that had falling numbers of cases was now beginning to see a rise.

“This is not someone else’s problem, this is all of our problem,” said Prof Whitty.

In one bright spot Sir Patrick said that there was good progress being made on vaccines.

He said the UK was in a “good position” and that it was possible that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year in small amounts for certain groups.

“In the meantime we have got to get in control of this,” he said.



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