‘Not out of the woods!’ Chris Whitty warns England could get into Covid ‘trouble fast’

‘Not out of the woods!’ Chris Whitty warns England could get into Covid ‘trouble fast’

Speaking at an event at the British Science Museum, the country’s chief medical officer said we are “not by any means out of the woods yet” and warned cases and hospitalisations could pick back up again. Recent Covid data suggests cases are spiralling among men in the wake of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Mr Whitty warned healthcare facilities could soon be faced with “scary numbers again” if cases expand exponentially.

“Currently this epidemic is doubling,” he said.

“It’s doubling in cases. It is also doubling in people going to hospital, and it’s doubling in deaths.

“We’ve still got over 2000 people in hospital, and that number is increasing.

“If we double from 2000 to 4000, from 4000 to 8000, to 8000 and so on, it doesn’t take many doubling times till you’re into very very large numbers indeed.”

The UK is currently experiencing a fresh wave of the virus, with data from July 14 showing over 37,000 daily new cases.

The rate of progress does not appear to be slowing, as the UK prepares to drop all Covid restrictions from Monday, July 19.

Despite removing the Covid rules from law, ministers and other political leaders are urging the public to continue to wear face coverings in crowded spaces and public transport.

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The Government has said masks were still “expected and recommended” and asked retailers to consider encouraging face coverings for workers.

The Prime Minister has told the public to exercise “extreme caution” and to take “personal responsibility” wherever possible.

Mr Whitty added: “I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast.

“We are not by any means out of the woods yet on this, we are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs and a variety of other things.

“But this has got a long way to run in the UK, and it’s got even further to run globally.”

He added that the key on July 19 was to “take things incredibly slowly” and expected people to continue taking precautions.

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He said: “If you look over what people have done, and in fact if you look at what people intend to do now, people have been incredibly good at saying, ‘I may be a relatively low risk, but people around me are at high risk, and I’m going to modify my behaviours’.”

Covid cases have remained relatively equal between men and women throughout the pandemic, but since the England match against Croatia on June 13, men have experienced higher case numbers.

Data from Public Health England showed 10,267 more cases in men than women over the last two weeks.

Although cases continue to climb, deaths have remained relatively low. The UK only recorded 36 deaths on July 14 but 37,341 new cases.

Published at Fri, 16 Jul 2021 03:30:09 +0000