Sir Patrick Vallance warns there will be twice as many Covid deaths as first peak if Britain fails to lockdown

2 months ago 7

DEATHS from the second wave could be twice as bad as the first peak if Britain fails to lockdown, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned tonight.

In a grim assessment of the country's battle with Covid-19, Sir Patrick warned deaths in the second wave could surpass the country's toll when the virus first hit Britain in spring.

Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the death rate could be twice as large in the second wave

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Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the death rate could be twice as large in the second wave

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Boris Johnson tonight announced a four-week lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, with the shutdown to last until December 2.

The Prime Minister warned without further action to tackle the virus "we could see deaths running at several thousand a day".

Hospitals would run out of capacity within weeks and doctors forced to choose between "who would live and who would die", the PM said.

Sir Patrick said the R rate surged above one from August onwards "and the epidemic continued to grow".

SECOND WAVE FEARS

He said: “What is clear that in terms of deaths over the winter, there is the potential for this to be twice as bad in comparison to the first wave. The model is showing that this could be the case.

“Over the next six weeks into early December, the numbers exceed the number of hospital admissions from the first wave.

“Inevitably, hospitalisations sometimes lead to deaths.

"What you can see is that the model suggests, increasing deaths over the next six weeks, so by the beginning of December, this will get close to the first wave, if nothing is done."

Mr Johnson announced the month-long shutdown at tonight's press conference

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Mr Johnson announced the month-long shutdown at tonight's press conference

Sir Chris Whitty warned that cases have surged to 50,000 a day

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Sir Chris Whitty warned that cases have surged to 50,000 a day Credit: Sky News

The PM admitted: "I'm afraid from Thursday, the basic message isn't the same.

"Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives."

He said that Christmas would be "different this year" but he was hopeful that families 

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty revealed cases have surged to 50,000 a day in the second wave.

In the North West, the number of patients with the virus in NHS beds in England is close to Spring's previous peak and spiking everywhere else.

Under the tough new rules, all non-essential shops must close as England goes back into a national lockdown for a month.

Holidays abroad are to be banned for a month under the strict new lockdown rules.

Overnight stays will also be banned and all travel apart from work discouraged. 

But the PM faces a huge Tory rebellion from his backbenchers - who are determined to fight another national shutdown.

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It comes as Britain today passed one million Covid cases after 21,915 more people positive for the bug.

Another 326 deaths have been recorded, meaning 46,555 have now died of coronavirus in the UK.

The total number of infections in the UK hit 1,011,660 today.

More to follow...

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