United Kingdom public warned to get serious as Covid toll set to surge

Clay Curtis
September 22, 2020

Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, told the public that the country should be braced for a tough winter, with colder weather expected to worsen the impact of coronavirus.

The latest figures came after the Government announced anyone in England refusing to obey an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000 and just days after the "rule of six" - banning social gathering of more than six people - came into force. If we are to avoid significant excess deaths and exceptional pressure in the NHS [National Health Service] and other health services over the autumn and winter everyone has to follow the social distancing guidance, wear face coverings correctly and wash their hands regularly, they said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the country tomorrow with an update on the potential reintroduction of some lockdown measures.

Earlier on Monday, the government's chief scientific adviser warned that the United Kingdom could see around 50,000 COVID-19 cases per day by the middle of October if current infection rates continue.

"If, and that's quite a big if, but if that continues unabated and this grows doubling every seven days... if that continued you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day".

Johnson's office said he had calls with Sturgeon, and her counterparts in Cardiff and Belfast, and they would all attend another emergency meeting on Tuesday.

There was also no indication that the virus lessened in severity, he said.

The British PM was due to talk to the leaders of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales yesterday.

The UK government has raised its coronavirus alert level from three to four, which indicates that the transmission of the virus is high and rising "exponentially".

Whitty also said new infections were affecting all ages.

Sir Patrick Vallance
Sir Patrick Vallance gave a national briefing on Monday

"It is very important that we do everything we can to sort of bear down on this", Shapps said.

Whitty stressed that infection rates are rising among all age groups and infections among the young and healthy will inevitably spread to friends, family and ultimately to the most vulnerable in society.

"So, this is not someone else's problem, this is all of our problem".

More: How many new coronavirus cases are there where you live?

"But if we go too far the other way, then we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment, to poverty, to deprivation - all of which have long-term health effects, so we need always to keep these two sides in mind".

More: Your verdict on second coronavirus lockdown for Norfolk Another 3,899 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom were announced on Sunday, while a further 18 people died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the United Kingdom total to 41,777.

Dr Michael Head, a global health expert at the University of Southampton, noted that Monday's warning highlighted the worst possible situation and did not take into account local lockdowns that could stem the spread of the virus.

It also provides evidence to the chief medical officers of each of the UK's four countries, allowing them to decide if a change of alert level is necessary.

An app meant to bolster virus contact tracing efforts is to be released this week after months of delay.

Coronavirus COVID-19 New Cases for Sunday in Oneida County
The Allegheny County Health Department announced 42 new covid-19 cases Monday, in addition to 74 cases from Sunday. The county is in the most restrictive, or "purple", level of the state's four-tier virus-tracking roadmap.

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