UK may still face national lockdown as Britain at 'tipping point' but covid death risk is 'coming down', expert warns
THE UK could still face a national lockdown with Britain at a "tipping point", an expert has warned today.
Professor Peter Horby, chief investigator for the dexamethasone trial – the drug given to Donald Trump last week – spoke about the rising cases this morning.
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He added although the death risk is coming down, the country is still at a "precarious" moment in the fight against the virus.
The viral expert was asked if the UK is staring down a national lockdown on the Andrew Marr show as the country awaits a statement from the PM tomorrow.
Prof Horby said: "I think that's a possibility and we have to do what we can to avoid that at all costs, and that's why local measure are being put in place."
It comes as new stricter rules are set to come in, ordering people to not mix indoors and outdoors in the worst hits parts of the country.
The chairman of the advisory group for New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) added: "Unfortunately I have to agree with that [that the country is at a tipping point] – increasing cases increasing hospitalisations.
"We are starting to now see the deaths increase so it really is precarious.
"There's a number of things that put is in a better situation, we have better testing abilities and a much better understanding of the disease.
"What's great to see is the risk of death in hospitalised patients coming down."
'IT'S A POSSIBILITY'
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "It is right that we pursue a localised approach.
"That must be the way forward because none of us want to see a return to blanket national measures – that would be the alternative."
Thousands of pubs could once again shut their doors under new restrictions set to be announced tomorrow.
But it is thought restaurants in some areas could be allowed to remain open, only until 10pm in line with the rest of the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline a new three-tiered system of restrictions, with measures expected to force hospitality venues to shut across the north of England.
It comes as the number of people in hospital with coronavirus increased across every part of England on Saturday – rising to 1,167 in the north west from 725 previous week.
A further 15,166 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Saturday, and 81 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
There are now 45,000 new cases daily across the country, according to Imperial College London experts.
Scientists calculate it is now taking 29 days for coronavirus infections to double nationally.
The findings are based on swabs of 175,000 volunteers between September 18 and October 5.
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