Chris Whitty hints UK coronavirus lockdown set for extension ‘too soon for next phase’

Chris Whitty hints UK coronavirus lockdown set for extension ‘too soon for next phase’

Dr Chris Whitty received a grilling from Sky News’ Political Editor Beth Rigby regarding the UK Government’s future plan to move out of the lockdown phase. The Chief Medical Officer explained that it was still uncertain when exactly the coronavirus outbreak will peak in Britain.


Beth Rigby asked: “Can you give the British people a sense of whether this will continue for weeks or months?”

Dr Chris Whitty responded: “The key thing is to get to the point where we are confident, we have reached the peak.

“Once we are at that point I think it is possible to have a serious discussion about all the things we need to do step-by-step to move to the next phase of managing this.

“I think to start having that discussion until we are confident that is where we have got to would be a mistake.”

READ MORE: Britain seen as ‘coronavirus hotspot’ around the world

Ms Rigby said: “Just to be clear, given that we are approaching the peak and at the end of the week the Government will review whether to relax restrictions.

“It seems to me that you are saying that the lockdown measures will continue beyond the end of this week.”

Dr Whitty replied: “I think to be clear we do not know for certain that the peak will be at the end of this week.

“I think we are confident that will be too early to start calling the point where we can move to the next phase of this epidemic.”

Worldwide there have been more than 1,300,000 COVID-19 cases. 

The death toll has reached more than 72,000 at the time of writing.

More than 275,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus across the globe.

The United States has the highest amount of COVID-19 cases in the world with more than 350,000 confirmed cases.

Published at Mon, 06 Apr 2020 16:40:00 +0000