UK on track for 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October, officials say

Coronavirus

MANCHESTER, – APRIL 04: A nurse takes a swab at a Covid-19 Drive-Through testing station at Manchester Airport on April 04, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 30,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

LONDON (NewsNation Now) — The U.K. “in a very bad sense” has turned the corner with coronavirus infections, the country’s chief medical officer said, warning that there could be 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October.

Dr. Chris Whitty elaborated this could lead to 200 deaths a day by November.

“We have in a bad sense, literally turned a corner, although only relatively recently. At this point, the seasons are against us, we are now going into the seasons, late autumn and winter, which benefit respiratory viruses and it is very likely they will benefit COVID as they do flu,” Whitty said.

Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance explained the figure comes from a government model showing the epidemic doubling “roughly every seven days.”

Current data from Public Health England shows roughly 3,800 infections a day.

There was also no indication that the virus had lessened in severity, he said.

“We see no evidence that this is true,” he said.

Later this week, the British government is expected to announce a slate of short-term restrictions that will act as a “circuit breaker” to slow the spread of the disease.

Last week, the British government imposed tighter restrictions on northeastern England communities where the infection rate first began to rise. Bars and restaurants in those areas must now close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. GMT and people are prohibited from socializing with individuals from other households

The government is hoping to keep that number from climbing back to the peak levels of early April, when more than 5,000 cases a day were being reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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