Doctors warn Covid restrictions need to return NOW – as expert says UK ‘already has 100,000 daily cases'

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Doctors warn Covid restrictions need to return NOW – as expert says UK ‘already has 100,000 daily cases’

DOCTORS have called on ministers to implement more Covid restrictions now, before it is too late.

The Government’s “Plan B”, which includes face coverings and working from home, has been ruled out for the time being.

Doctors warn Covid restrictions need to return NOW – as expert says UK ‘already has 100,000 daily cases’

Doctors want restrictions now to prevent the NHS coming under more strain Credit: Alamy

Doctors warn Covid restrictions need to return NOW – as expert says UK ‘already has 100,000 daily cases’

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul Credit: Alamy

The British Medical Association (BMA) said the decision was “willfully negligent”.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “The Westminster Government said it would enact ‘Plan B’ to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed; as doctors working on the frontline, we can categorically say that time is now.

“By the Health Secretary’s own admission we could soon see 100,000 cases a day and we now have the same number of weekly Covid deaths as we had during March, when the country was in lockdown. 

“It is therefore incredibly concerning that he is not willing to take immediate action to save lives and to protect the NHS. 

“Especially as we head into winter, when the NHS is in the grips of tackling the largest backlog of care, with an already depleted and exhausted workforce.”

Dr Nagpaul said “urgent action is needed now” to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. 

Virologist Dr Chris Smith said the UK is “probably already close to 100,000 cases a day anyway”.

He noted that half of Covid cases are asymptomatic – showing no symptoms – which would suggest the current average of 43,000 per day was lower than reality.

The University of Cambridge Dr told BBC Breakfast: “So probably, with detected cases at 50,000, we’re probably already close to 100,000 cases a day anyway, we just don’t know about lots of them.

“The trend at the moment in cases is upwards, but the more reassuring trend for the moment is how many people are becoming severely unwell, how many people are losing their lives…

“That number, thankfully, does remain very, very low, and that's a direct testimony to the performance of the vaccines.”

The ZOE Covid Symptom Study today estimated there were 81,800 new cases per day – but only those that were symptomatic.

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the study, said the “UK really is in trouble”.

He said: “Frustratingly our calls for a more cautious approach to Covid management have gone unheeded, despite the upward trends we’ve reported now for several weeks. 

“As feared, cases have spilled over into the older age group which will certainly lead to more hospitalisations and deaths. 

“The UK needs to act now to prevent the situation from escalating out of control ahead of winter.”

He said much more needed to  be done to encourage people to get two doses of the Covid vaccine, as 67 per cent of the population are double-jabbed. 

Professor Adam Finn said five million adults in the UK had still not got a first dose. 

Asked if 100,000 cases a day should be seen as petrifying, paediatric expert Prof Finn said: “Yes, it absolutely should.

“I mean we’re being told that somehow it’s OK because there’s only 150 to 200 deaths a day.

“Well, in two weeks, that’s the same number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks in the USA and that was enough to start global wars.

“It really isn’t OK to have this many people getting this infection and getting sick and dying. It’s a real big deal.

“And on top of all of the other struggles that we’ve got in the NHS, we really all need to be doing everything we can to bring these cases back down again, as indeed is happening in other European countries that are our neighbours.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday urged Brits to “play their part” in keeping the virus from spiralling out of control ahead of Christmas.

He said if people did not take caution and get their booster vaccines, they could “blow it” and more restrictions may be needed.

No figure for cases, hospitalisations or deaths has been given to signal that the NHS is under too much strain.

Backing The Sun’s Give Britain a Booster campaign, Mr Javid warned it was vital to take up a third jab not just to save lives but to keep our freedoms, too.

It was reported last night ministers are discussing a potential “Plan C”, in which mixing between households was banned.

Such a plan would see clampdowns on gatherings among different households, potentially by Christmas, if pressure on hospitals worsen, The Telegraph reports.

Today the Government insisted there is “no foundation” to the reports.

UK daily Covid cases and deaths ‘moving in the wrong direction’ as infections hit same rate as July

More to follow…

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