Covid restrictions could return in THREE WEEKS if hospital cases skyrocket, Sage experts warn
COVID restrictions could make a comeback in just three weeks if hospital cases explode, experts have warned.
Savvy scientists believe the country could see a turnaround in easing as they urge ministers to take action.
Advisers have said Boris Johnson must be prepared to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by the end of July, reports the i.
Grim models suggest that between 1,000 and 2,000 daily hospitalizations and 100-200 deaths per day could occur by the peak, expected in late August.
The latest data from July 14 showed there were 745 new patients admitted per day, a week before “Freedom Day,” with 4,500 people hospitalized in the past seven days.
Experts suggest that mandatory face masks and advice for working from home should return in early August, to limit growing cases.
It would be midway between unlocking on July 19 and peaking in late August.
This would prevent the NHS from being fully overwhelmed, they argue.
A source said “less emergency braking and more shifting” was needed to keep the third wave “under control”.
The Prime Minister appeared to indicate that unlocking on Monday might not stay quite as unlocked if cases continue to skyrocket.
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He set a different tone from previous weeks, pouring a bucket of caution on Freedom Day – and warning that the pandemic “is far from over.”
In a stern address from his quarantine of Checkers, the Prime Minister pleaded with the British not to go mad and to continue to self-isolate if questioned.
He refused to rule out withdrawal measures if the third wave got out of hand, insisting he had to be “humble in the face of nature”.
The fourth and final step in Monday’s roadmap removed almost all legal restrictions after a 17-month lockdown.
It has lifted the limits on gatherings and removed social distancing, while also making guiding work at home easier.
Yesterday we explained how hospitals and ambulance services are already feeling the pressure of increasing cases and the heatwave.
A combination of increased infections affecting staff and the effects of hot weather are said to have increased pressure on hospitals.
More than half of a trust’s staff are believed to be on sick leave due to isolation rules, as Covid patients increase by a third in a week.
And 999 calls would have gone unanswered for minutes at a time due to a lack of call handlers.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England, said: “The past 18 months have been difficult for all of us. Now the restrictions have been lifted, many of us want to start doing what we love the most again.
“However, we have to do it with caution and be reasonable. We are in a wave of infections that has seen an increase of over 40% last week, there is still a risk of serious illness for many people.
“We can all reduce the risk by getting the two doses of the vaccine, testing ourselves twice a week at home, and spending more time outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms. Let’s all stay alert.”