Infections rising at up to 90,000 people a day in the UK

The number of coronavirus infections could be rising by as much as 90,000 cases a day, Patrick Vallance has said.

The government’s Chief Scientific Adviser addressed a press briefing with the latest statistics today.

He said that between 53 000 and 90 000 new infections per day may be occurring.

 Sir Patrick stressed the need to reduce coronavirus infections to avoid placing pressure on the NHS and in turn affecting treatment for other conditions such as cancer.

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He told the Downing Street briefing: ‘One of the reasons that care for other conditions like cardiovascular disease and oncology, cancer care, gets affected is not the measures taken to stop Covid, it’s the patients with Covid who start to occupy beds.

‘The more patients there are with Covid, the more the pressure on the healthcare system overall, and the more the other conditions get affected because people don’t have the capacity to deal with it.

‘So it is very important to keep the numbers of infections down if we are to reduce the number of hospitalisations.’

Sir Patrick said that the R value was ‘about half’ of its natural number, but he said: ‘As long as R is above one, the epidemic continues to grow and it will continue to grow at a reasonable rate. It is doubling perhaps every 14 to 18 days, unless the R comes below one.’

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