Second wave 'on track to be twice as bad as first'

The UK’s coronavirus second wave is on track to be ‘twice as bad as the first’, the Government’s chief scientific advisor has warned.

There could be several thousand deaths a day ‘unless action is taken now’, according to Sir Patrick Vallance.

He said models predicting the likely impact of the virus over the winter point to ‘the potential’ for deaths to be ‘twice as bad or more’ compared to the first wave in March and April.

It’s feared hospitals could be overwhelmed by early December, even in areas like the South West – where cases of the virus have so far been low.

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The stark warnings were issued as Boris Johnson announced a second national lockdown for England.

Speaking at the press conference to announce the latest restrictions, Professor Chris Whitty said the number of people in NHS beds in England will exceed the peak of the first wave without further measures.

The chief medical officer for England said there is an increase in prevalence ‘in virtually every part of the country’, apart from possibly the North East where stricter measures are in place, and cases appear to be flatlining.

Discussing NHS bed use in England, he said: ‘Currently only in the North West is this coming close to the peak that we previously had, but it is increasing in every area.

‘And if we do nothing, the inevitable result is these numbers will go up and they will eventually exceed the peak that we saw in the spring of this year.’

This is a breaking news story – more to follow

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