COVID hospital cases may match the April peak by the New Year and the UK faces a “human disaster” with another national lockdown, experts have warned.
Last night, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance admitted that Tier 4 rules were likely to be introduced outside just London and the South East.
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Staff inside an intensive care unit at University Hospital in Coventry[/caption]
London’s streets have been left empty as the capital is under Tier 4 rules[/caption]
And Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has reportedly warned PM Boris Johnson that the number of coronavirus hospital patients is on track to exceed the April peak at the beginning of the pandemic.
Mr Johnson was told that the hospital numbers will continue to grow unless a change is made, the Daily Mail reported.
Professor Robert West, who is a member of Sage’s behaviour science panel, warned that the Government’s current approach would not stop the virus from spreading rapidly.
A new, more contagious mutant strain is sweeping across the country.
Professor West told the Guardian that stricter rules were needed, and that the UK should follow measures used in East Asia to curb the bug.
He said: “It sounds expensive but the alternative could well be a catastrophic collapse in confidence in the country’s ability to control the virus and the economic, human and social disaster that would follow.”
Despite warnings that the new strain is fuelling the spread of coronavirus, experts have said there is no evidence it can cause more severe disease or death.
Government scientists are analysing the strain to assess how dangerous it is.
Sage doom-mongers have proven to be wrong in the past, including when they incorrectly predicted 4,000 daily Covid deaths in winter before a second national lockdown.
The mutant coronavirus strain could see England thrown into a New Year lockdown, amid warnings it has spread “everywhere” in the UK.
The Prime Minister, while denying suggestions a third national lockdown was imminent, acknowledged at Monday’s Downing Street press conference that significant restrictions were likely to remain in place for months.
But Boris also insisted it would be a “very different world’” by Easter.
Sir Patrick also warned of the new mutant strain ripping across the nation, saying: “It’s more transmissible, we’ve absolutely got to make sure we’ve got the right level of restrictions in place.”
“I think it is likely that this will grow in numbers of the variant across the country, and I think its likely therefore that measures are going to need to be increased in some places, not reduced.”
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Already a third of the country are in Tier 4 – the new highest level of restrictions like lockdown.
Sir Patrick added: “I think it is a case that this will spread more.”
He said it was already “everywhere” after other health experts confirmed it was now in every region of the country.