Sunday, 25 Jul 2021

Covid deaths soar to highest since March after ‘biggest wave of infections’ warning

Neil Ferguson issues warning about covid hospitalisations

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A further 96 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid as of 9am on Tuesday. The figure is the highest daily jump since March 24 and brings the total to 128,823.

An additional 46,558 cases have also been confirmed.

It comes as Professor Andrew Hayward, from University College London and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned the country is heading into “the biggest wave of Covid infection that we have ever seen”.

He said that if the public do not take a cautious approach to unlocking following so-called freedom day on Monday then “tens of thousands” of more people could die.

The University College London academic told Sky News: “We are heading into the biggest wave of Covid infection that we have ever seen and, even though the vaccine will substantially reduce the number of deaths and hospitalisations, it’s still likely that we will see somewhere in the low tens of thousands of deaths even if we are cautious.

“And that could move into the mid and high tens of thousands of deaths if we just went back to normal activity.

“So I think this remaining cautious is really a key thing in this unlocking of legal restrictions.”

During a press conference from his Chequers self-isolation on Monday, Boris Johnson defended the timing of lifting England’s lockdown restrictions despite rocketing cases.

The Prime Minister argued that not opening up now, with the “firebreak” offered by the school holidays, meant the risk of even tougher conditions in the winter.

Mr Johnson said: “There comes a point after so many have been vaccinated when further restrictions no longer prevent hospitalisations and deaths but simply delay the inevitable.

“So we have to ask ourselves the question: if not now, when?”

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Asked whether he could still promise the road map out of restrictions was irreversible, the Prime Minister said that was the “hope”.

He said: “The road map is, we hope, irreversible. I think I said that from the get-go.

“But we can’t guarantee that, something could obviously happen that changes our calculations, and we’ve got to be humble in the face of nature.

“There could be some new mutant, some new variant of the virus that we have to respond to in a particular way, I’ve always been very clear about that.

“The only way we can make the road map irreversible is by continuing to be cautious.

“And that I’m afraid is why we’ve got to continue with the measures that we are.”

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