THE country is facing 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October top scientists have warned unless action is taken.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty gave a briefing on the rise in cases across the country.

Sir Patrick said the “vast majority of the population remain susceptible” to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.

Across south Essex, evidence suggests that is already starting to happen:

  • In Southend, there were 23 new cases confirmed in the last seven days, down from 27 in the previous seven-day period; 
  • In Basildon there were 21 new cases confirmed in the last seven days, down from 31 in the previous seven-day period;
  • In Castle Point, there were 19 new cases confirmed in the last seven days, down from 25 in the previous seven-day period; and 
  • In Rochford there were six new cases confirmed in the last seven days, down from 11 in the previous seven-day period.

In a televised press conference, Sir Patrick said there was “no doubt” the UK was in a situation where the numbers were increasing among all age groups.

He said it was not a prediction, but the current doubling of cases every seven days could lead to a much higher numbers of cases and deaths.

“If – and that’s quite a big if – but if that continues unabated and this grows, doubling every seven days, then what you see, of course, let’s say there were 5,000 today, it would be 10,000 next week, 20,000 the week after, 40,000 the week after, and you can see that by mid-October, if that continued, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day.”

Prof Whitty hinted at curbs to social lives being needed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control.


He said there were four things to do – washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.

“The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted,” he said. “And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work and also in social environments.

“This is a balance of risk between if we don’t do enough the virus will take off – and at the moment that is the path we’re clearly on – and if we do not change course we are going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem.”

Hospital admissions on the rise too 

The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus in England is the highest it has been since the end of June, figures show.

The latest Government data reveals 205 people with Covid-19 were admitted on Friday – the most since June 27, when the figure was 209.

A further 204 patients were admitted to hospital on Saturday, taking the total number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus in England up to 116,254.

The data, updated on Monday, includes people admitted to hospital in England who tested positive for Covid-19 in the 14 days prior to admission, and those who tested positive in hospital after admission.