Coronavirus UK: NHS models predict more deaths than SAGE estimates

England's chief public health officials tonight alleged that the country is on course for a much higher death toll than during the first wave of Covid-19 unless a second national lockdown is imposed. 

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference tonight, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance claimed that England is currently experiencing 'around 50,000 new cases a day'. 

Citing Office for National Statistics data, the chief medical officer for England alleged the 'prevalence of this disease has been going up extremely rapidly over the last few weeks'.

Prof Whitty said that the rate of transmission had been 'very flat due to the work of everybody in the country over Spring and Summer' before claiming that NHS England hospitalisations are now rising 'exponentially'.

He alleged that the number of people in hospital beds will exceed the peak of the first wave without further measures, adding that there is an increase in prevalence 'in virtually every part of the country', apart from possibly the North East where stricter measures are in place, and cases are not constrained to one age group.

The chief medical officer for England said: 'Currently only in the North West is this coming close to the peak that we previously had, but it is increasing in every area. And if we do nothing, the inevitable result is these numbers will go up and they will eventually exceed the peak that we saw in the spring of this year.'

Sir Patrick, the UK's chief scientific adviser, then presented models by SAGE presented to the Prime Minister which featured several different projections of the course of Covid-19.  

SAGE's models showed that coronavirus deaths could reach more than 4,000 per day. This figure is based on no restrictions being brought in to slow the spread of the virus.

Most of SAGE's models peak at around 2,000 deaths from the virus per day during the winter and predict  that hospitalisations are likely to peak in mid-December, with deaths rising until at least late December. 

Meanwhile, a separate paper circulating in Whitehall warns that the NHS would be unable to accept any more patients by Christmas, even if the Nightingale hospitals were used.

This document, which is based on NHS England modelling from October 28, claims that south-west England and the Midlands will be the first to run out of capacity within two weeks.

It comes as Mr Johnson tonight announced that England will be plunged into a second national lockdown from midnight on Thursday until December 2 in a desperate bid to 'save Christmas'.

He said a national lockdown which will see the closure of pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues and non-essential shops from November 5, adding that 'no responsible Prime Minister can ignore' the rising cases. 

Cabinet sources leaked news of the impending month-long shutdown to the Mail last night after the Government's scientists warned Mr Johnson that Covid-19 cases in the UK are accelerating faster than their worst-case scenario' of 85,000 coronavirus deaths this winter, with 1,000 deaths a day by December. 

Another 326 UK fatalities were declared today - nearly double last Saturday's tally. But infections, which can represent the current situation more accurately, were down five per cent on a week ago at 21,915.  

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance presented models by SAGE at a Downing Street press conference which were shown to the Prime Minister which featured several different projections of the course of Covid-19

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance presented models by SAGE at a Downing Street press conference which were shown to the Prime Minister which featured several different projections of the course of Covid-19

Another 326 UK fatalities were declared today - nearly double last Saturday's tally. But infections, which can represent the current situation more accurately, were down five per cent on a week ago at 21,915

Another 326 UK fatalities were declared today - nearly double last Saturday's tally. But infections, which can represent the current situation more accurately, were down five per cent on a week ago at 21,915

This week papers from a meeting of the SAGE committee showed that scientists warned ministers two weeks ago that Britain could be headed for a more serious situation than their worst projections.

The document, dated October 14, which was released online, claimed 'we are breaching the number of infections and hospital admissions in the Reasonable Worst Case planning scenario' before adding that the outlooks for Covid-19's future spread was 'concerning' if no action was taken.  

According to briefings from advisers, they believe there is still time to save Christmas with a lockdown of at least a month that closes restaurants, pubs and all but essential shops.

The experts believe soaring cases mean the UK could face 1,000 deaths a day within a month and exceed 85,000 coronavirus deaths. The SAGE papers from two weeks ago warned that modelling suggested that up to 74,000 people a day could be becoming infected in England alone, far beyond the worst case scenario. 

There is a lag of around three weeks between infections and deaths. The scientists told ministers that without further restrictions, the death toll will keep rising exponentially, and hospitals will be overwhelmed. 

Separate Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures found daily coronavirus infections in England surged by 50 per cent last week. It estimated that almost 52,000 people were catching the virus every day and one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago. 

The weekly update is far lower than another Government-funded study, called REACT-1, which claimed there were 96,000 new cases per day by October 25, putting the current outbreak on par with levels seen in the first wave.  

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance presented models by SAGE at a Downing Street press conference which were shown to the Prime Minister which featured several different projections of the course of Covid-19

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance presented models by SAGE at a Downing Street press conference which were shown to the Prime Minister which featured several different projections of the course of Covid-19

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated almost 52,000 people were catching the virus every day and one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated almost 52,000 people were catching the virus every day and one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago

Separate data from King's College London predicted England has around 32,000 cases per day and claimed infections are rising 'steadily' and 'have not spiralled out of control'

Separate data from King's College London predicted England has around 32,000 cases per day and claimed infections are rising 'steadily' and 'have not spiralled out of control'

However yesterday, other researchers at King's College London, predicted England has around 32,000 new symptomatic cases per day and claimed infections are rising 'steadily' and 'have not spiralled out of control'.  

The competing projections have led to confusion over how bad the current rate of coronavirus infections is.

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