United Kingdom ponders second Covid-19 lockdown as outbreak accelerates

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty

The UK's top government scientists warn the country will have almost 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October if the current infection rate does not drop.

Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 within weeks unless Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government moves urgently to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday.

Customers eat sunday lunches at tables outside restaurants in Soho, in London on September 20, 2020 as the British government consider fresh nationwide restrictions after an rise in cases of the novel coronavirus.

Commenting on today's press conference from the United Kingdom government's chief scientific advisers, Professor Angela Thomas, acting president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said: "As Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance highlighted, this is a critical time for protecting people - and the NHS - from coronavirus".

"The trend in the U.K.is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic", Witty said in a statement released before the briefing.

"We see here the virus is moving up the age bands".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a new raft of lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.

"But in this period of the next six months, I think we have to realise that we have to take this collectively very seriously".

"We have learned to treat this virus more effectively".

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.

Among the measures being considered by ministers is a temporary two-week "circuit break", with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

However, the government is facing resistance from some senior Conservative MPs who are concerned that ministers are imposing new coronavirus restrictions without giving Parliament a say.

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would support the measures but warned that a second national lockdown was becoming more likely because the Test and Trace programme was in a state of "near collapse".

Hospitalisations are also doubling in seven to eight days - leading to more deaths.

Latest News