Chris Whitty warns that COVID hospital numbers could skyrocket

England’s chief medical officer says the UK is 'not out of the woods yet' and people should act with caution as COVID restrictions in England end on Monday

Scary numbers

UK’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, has warned that the country could see a surge that is at least two times the current status in COVID cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the coming weeks after the nation's reopening date.

Speaking at an event at the British Science Museum, Professor Whitty said that the country is ‘not out of the woods yet’ and warned cases and hospitalisations could rise higher than before. Recent COVID data released show that cases are seriously rising among men in the wake of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

COVID cases have been relatively equal between men and women throughout the pandemic, but since the England match against Croatia on June 13, men have experienced higher case numbers.

Whitty warned healthcare facilities could soon be faced with ‘scary numbers again’ if cases increase rampantly.

He said:

Currently this epidemic is doubling,
It's doubling in cases. It is also doubling in people going to hospital, and it's doubling in deaths.
We've still got over 2000 people in hospital, and that number is increasing.
If we double from 2000 to 4000, from 4000 to 8000, to 8000 and so on, it doesn't take many doubling times till you're into very very large numbers indeed.

What next?

The UK is currently experiencing a fresh wave of the virus, with data from July 14 showing over 37,000 daily new cases.

The rate of progress does not appear to be receding, as the UK prepares to drop all COVID restrictions from Monday, July 19.

Despite revoking the COVID rules from law, ministers and other political leaders are urging the public to continue to wear face coverings in crowded spaces and public transport.

The Government has said masks were still ‘expected and recommended’ and asked retailers to consider encouraging face coverings for workers.

The Prime Minister has advised the public to be extremely cautious and to take personal responsibility when necessary.

COVID: Here's what you should know about the rising cases in the UK COVID: Here's what you should know about the rising cases in the UK