Covid: UK coronavirus alert level ‘moving to 4'

Cheryl Sanders
September 22, 2020

"We should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively".

Johnson is due to speak on Tuesday.

During a series of broadcast interviews over the weekend, however, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out a second national lockdown in England, if people fail to follow the social distancing rules.

"The trend in United Kingdom is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic", Whitty said.

The Joint Biosecurity centre has recommended that the Covid-19 alert level rises to level four - meaning an epidemic is "in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially".

The U.K. government's COVID-19 dashboard shows that after the initial wave of new cases and deaths from the pandemic in the spring, a definite second wave of new cases has emerged since the beginning of August.

Sir Patrick Vallance told a press conference there could be 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day as early as mid-October if they continue to double every seven days.

"If, and that's quite a big if, but if that continues unabated, and this grows, doubling every seven would be 10,000 next week, 20,000 the week after, 40,000 the week after, and you can see that by mid-October, if that continued, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day".

Patrick Vallance, the United Kingdom government's Chief Scientific Adviser, said that increasing cases would translate to increasing hospitalisation and death rates, adding cases were rising in all age groups.

Sir Patrick added: "The challenge therefore is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days".

Prof Whitty suggested that reducing social contacts was a key way to curb the spread but acknowledged there was a balance to be struck in terms of protecting the economy.

"Ministers making decisions - and all of society - have to walk this very hard balance".

He said as the disease moves up the age groups, the mortality rate would move to significant rates, although drugs such as dexamethsone would reduce the mortality rates a little.

On Monday, September 21, 4,638 cases were reported in the UK. "There are no schools where there is a lot of communication, it's more about people being social", he said. "New restrictions could reportedly include banning separate households from meeting and imposing a curfew on pubs and restaurants - as has already occurred in parts of England". Asked about Christmas and if people would be able to hug their relatives, he said he wanted it to be the most common.

"The announcement on Monday is created to prepare people here for more restrictions", NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London.

Meanwhile, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent will be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Tuesday following an increase in coronavirus cases, the Welsh Government announced.

Other reports by iNewsToday