Covid cases could hit 50,000 a day by October – is lockdown coming back?

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance today addressed the nation on the current spike in coronavirus cases, and the data on projected cases made for shocking reading. One graph showed Britain could be facing 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October. This could lead to 200 deaths a day a month later if the current rate of infection is not halted, the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned.

Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick today gave an update on the latest coronavirus data, and warned the UK is at a crucial stage in regards to the pandemic. 

Sir Patrick said cases were increasing by 6,000 per day, and deaths and hospitalizations are also climbing.

In a presentation of the latest coronavirus data, the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick said: “The way that we reduce the spread is by limiting our number of contacts, by reducing contact in environments where spread is more likely – those are crowded environments, indoor environments, poor ventilation – and making sure that we reduce the probability of coming into contact with anyone who is infectious.

“And that’s the importance of self-isolation, keeping out of circulation if you have, or may have, the virus.”

Read More: UK winter lockdown: Is Christmas the best time for lockdown?

Is lockdown coming back?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been desperate to avoid another nationwide lockdown amid concerns about the economic damage it will inflict just as activity was beginning to pick up again.

However, as of Tuesday, approximately 13.5 million people across the UK will under some form of local restrictions.

This includes curfews of 10pm for pubs and restaurants, as the Government tries to get a grasp on the virus.

One of the measures being discussed by ministers is a temporary two-week “circuit break”, with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

These restrictions will be introduced across parts of the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire.

This includes Lancashire (excluding Blackpool), Merseyside and the Cheshire boroughs of Warrington and Halton.

New restrictions are also being put in place in Wolverhampton, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, and all parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.

Today Professor Whitty hinted at curbs to social lives being needed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control.

He said: “You cannot in an epidemic just take your own risk, unfortunately you’re taking a risk on behalf of everybody else.

“It’s important that we see this as something we have to do collectively.”

He said the four things to do are reducing individual risk by washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.

Professor Whitty said: “The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted.

“And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work, and this is where we have enormous gratitude to all the businesses for example who have worked so hard to make their environments Covid-secure to reduce the risk, and also in social environments.

“We all know we cannot do this without some significant downsides.

“This is a balance of risk between if we don’t do enough the virus will take off – and at the moment that is the path we’re clearly on – and if we do not change course we are going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem.”

Coronavirus update: As the number of cases skyrockets, how can you keep safe?

First, it’s imperative if you have any symptoms of coronavirus – a new, continuous cough, fever, or loss or change to sense of taste or smell – to try to get tested.

While waiting for a test, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, you will be required to self-isolate at home.

Tell others, who you’ve been in close contact with in the past 48 hours since symptoms began, that you’re feeling under the weather.

While awaiting test results, you must not leave your home (aside from getting a test).

Coronavirus cases MAPPED: Where are COVID-19 cases rising? From London to North West

This means there were around 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day – almost double the rate of the week previously.

The ONS estimated 3,200 new cases per day in last week’s report.

In Wales for the same period, the ONS estimate that 1,500 people had COVID-19, which is around 1 in 2,000 people.

The report also stated there was clear evidence of increasing coronavirus cases amongst people aged two to 11, 17 to 24 and 25 to 34.

Matt Hancock issues national lockdown warning as COVID-19 cases spike: 'Nothing off table'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted a national lockdown remains the “last line of defence” to protect Britons from widespread coronavirus infections.

Mr Hancock said local action taken wherever necessary could help the Government and public health officials ensure a total shut down is avoided.

He however conceded the lack of collaboration could ultimately force the UK to extend social distancing restrictions to everyone across the country.

The Conservative frontbencher however was unable to confirm how close the country effectively is to a potential total lockdown despite warning the number of people in hospitals struck by COVID-19 have been “doubling” every eight days for the past few weeks.

More to follow…

Europe coronavirus lockdown: World Health Organisation warns cases now exceed March peak

Officials from the World Health Organisation issued the warning as a second wave of infections intensified across the continent. The dramatic rise in new coronavirus cases in Europe has been desribed as a “wake up call” by the WHO bosses.

WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said: “We have a very serious situation unfolding before us.

“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March.”

He said the region’s weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients las week.

Dr Kluge said: “More than half of European countries have reported a greater-than-10 percent increase in cases in the past two weeks.

“Of those, seven countries have seen newly reported cases increase more than two-fold in the same period.”

The warning from the WHO came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a “concerning rise in cases” in England.

Mr Hancock confirmed local lockdown restrictions will be introduced in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham following “concerning rates of infection”.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the number of newly reported cases for the EU, European Economic Area and the UK “has been increasing for more than 50 days, with over half of all EU countries currently experiencing an increase in cases”.

Spain, which has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Europe at 614,360, is set to announce more local lockdowns and travel restrictions.

France reported 9,784 new cases yesterday, one of the highest daily figures ever reported in the country and just below the all-time record of 10,561 new cases recorded last Saturday.

Italy, which was the epicenter of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreak in February, registered 1,452 new cases in the last 24 hours, up from 1,229 new cases on Tuesday.

The death toll from the second wave has been significantly lower than in spring and early summer when the virus first hit Europe, but the WHO has warned this could change as winter approaches.


North East faces local lockdown restrictions on Friday as cases spike – curfew expected

The areas expected to be governed by the new restrictions include Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Country Durham and Sunderland. The Government is poised to announce the changes tomorrow. 

The new rule will come into effect from Friday, which could force pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises to close from 10pm each day, as a curfew is introduced.

Residents of the areas will also be banned from socialising with anyone from a different household.

More to follow…

India coronavirus: Cases surpass 5 MILLION in grim new tally as 82,066 die from virus

India’s Health Ministry reported the country has seen 91,120 new cases of coronavirus yesterday. The country has also seen a leap in deaths, reporting a further 1,283. India has seen the second worst cases from the virus around the world, with a total of 5,020,359. It has the third worst number of deaths at 82,066.