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‘The worst is yet to come’, warns Chris Whitty as Covid cases continue to rise

‘The worst is yet to come’, warns Chris Whitty as Covid cases continue to rise
A medical worker transports a patient from an ambulance at the Royal London Hospital amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, January 10, 2021. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
A medical worker transports a patient from an ambulance at the Royal London Hospital (Picture: Reuters)

The next few weeks will be the ‘worst’ of the pandemic for the NHS, England’s chief medical officer has warned.

Professor Chris Whitty urged people to ‘double down’ and stop any ‘unnecessary contacts’ to give the vaccines time to take effect.

He warned the new variant is ‘pushing things’ in a way the old variant was not able to.

‘This is a serious problem and it is rising in every part of England,’ he told BBC Breakfast.

‘The next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS.’

He added: ‘This is everybody’s problem, any single unnecessary contact with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person.

‘We’ve all got to, as individuals, help the NHS, help our fellow citizens, by minimising the amount of unnecessary contacts we have.’

Prof Whitty said that even within the current rules people should be looking to cut out any unnecessary contacts.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MAY 29 A Rehab Support worker checks on patient notes as the first patients are admitted to the NHS Seacole Centre at Headley Court, Surrey, a disused military hospital, which has been converted during the coronavirus pandemic. Named in honour of Jamaican born nurse, Mary Seacole, the facility will help care for and support patients recovering from COVID-19 and who no longer need care in an acute hospital, or those who have COVID and can no longer cope with their symptoms at home. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 28, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus Seacole. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
The NHS is facing the peak of the second wave in the coming weeks (Picture: PA)

He said: ‘Ministers are always looking at whether they should adjust restrictions in either direction but at this moment, obviously, definitely not relaxing them.

‘The most important thing is that people take the current rules very, very seriously and do the minimum contacts they can.

‘The most important thing now is for people to actually say “look, these are the rules, they’re really clear and we shouldn’t do anything that’s outside them, but we should actually, even within them, we should be doing our level best to minimise the amount of unnecessary contact with people who are not from our house”.

‘I can’t emphasise that enough. When you think about the pressures there are on the NHS at the moment, that is the thing that all of us can do to help relieve the pressures over the next few weeks.’

The number of Covid hospital patients has reached a record high in England, while the official coronavirus death toll for the UK passed 80,000 at the weekend and lab-confirmed cases hit more than three million.

As of Sunday, a further 563 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, bringing the UK total to 81,431.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths, where Covid has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 97,000 Covid deaths in the UK.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.





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