WORLD UK daily coronavirus cases could reach 50,000 by mid-October without action: senior official


UK daily coronavirus cases could reach 50,000 by mid-October without action: senior official


21:27, September 21, 2020


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LONDON, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Britain could see 50,000 new cases of coronavirus per day by mid-October unless intervention is taken to slow the current infection rate, the government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance warned Monday.

The number of new COVID-19 cases was doubling roughly every seven days and Britain could see 200 deaths a day by mid-November, Vallance told a press briefing at 10 Downing Street.

"The challenge therefore is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days," Vallance said.

"There are already things in place which are expected to slow that, and to make sure that we do not enter this exponential growth and end up with the problems that you would predict as a result of that," he said.

"That requires speed, it requires action and it requires...enough in order to be able to bring that down," he added.

Four more areas in Wales are to go into lockdown from 18:00 BST on Tuesday, affecting more than 400,000 people, local media reported Monday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that in the face of the rising coronavirus cases, his government may need to "intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down."

Meanwhile, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

Vallance said it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed.

Vallance was joined by Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, for the briefing.

Whitty said the British government has to take decisions that will have to balance the impact on the economy with the danger of the virus.

"If we do too little, this virus will go out of control...But if we go too far the other way we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment and poverty which have long term health effects," he said.

The British government has recently introduced "the rule of six", limiting the number of people who can gather indoors or outdoors to six. More stringent restrictions, which include a ban on the mix of different households, have been put in place in parts of Britain to tackle rising infection rates.

Britain recorded another 3,899 infections overnight on Sunday, bringing total number of coronavirus cases to 394,257. The coronavirus-related death toll rose by 18 to 41,777, according to official figures released Sunday.

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