The government’s chief scientific adviser has said that this would translate to “200-plus deaths a day” by November with 49,000 daily cases
The UK could soon be seeing 49,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day unless further action is taken in order to drive down the current rate of infection in the country, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told a Downing Street briefing that the number of new coronavirus cases was doubling roughly every seven days.
This briefing came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers tightening nation-wide COVID-19 measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr Vallance said that, if the current growth in cases of infection continues unabated, with the UK set to see around 50,000 cases of the coronavirus a day by the middle of October.
This comes after Boris Johnson will be chairing an emergency COBRA meeting tomorrow ahead of a statement from the Prime Minister on the next steps in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
This would reportedly translate to “200-plus deaths a day” by the middle of November.
“The challenge therefore is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days,” he said.
“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.”
Sir Patrick Vallance, who appeared alongside Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said that there had been an increase in cases of infection in every age group, and has dismissed any suggestion that the increase was a result of more COVID-19 tests being carried out throughout the nation.
He told the briefing that around 8% of the UK’s population, which is approximately three million people, potentially have already been infected with the coronavirus and therefore now have antibodies for the disease.
“It means the vast majority of us are not protected in any way and are susceptible to this disease,”
Prof Whitty said there were now “significant rates of transmission” in parts of the UK.
“What we’ve found is, as we go through in time, anywhere that was falling is now moving over to beginning to rise and then the rate of rise continues in an upwards direction,” he told the briefing.
“So, this is not someone else’s problem, this is all of our problem.”
This comes after the Joint Committee on Human Rights has said that it was “unacceptable” and that “many thousands” were receiving fixed penalty notices (FPNs) despite the evidence that the police did not fully understand the limitations of their powers.
Prof Whitty has told the British public to expect a tough winter.
“At this point the seasons are against us, we’re now going into the seasons – late autumn and winter – which benefit respiratory viruses, and it is very likely they will benefit COVID, as they do, for example, flu,” he said.
“So we should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively, it’s not indefinite.”