Hello. It’s a sign of the severity of the coronavirus crisis Professor Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, hit the airwaves this morning to address the nation. Whitty doesn’t normally give interviews, but he is a familiar character from Press Conferences # 10, where his normal role is to provide some sort of counterpoint “to reality” to the Prime Minister’s heady optimism.
This morning, Whitty checks out the reality of the nation as a whole. This quote, taken from her interview on Today, sums up her message.
We need to be very clear that we are now at the worst time of this epidemic for the UK. In the future we will have the vaccine, but the numbers at the moment are higher than they were in the previous peak by some distance. We have 30,000 people who are in the NHS, and it continues to increase …
We are now in a situation where in the UK as a whole about one in 50 people are infected and in London it is about one in 30 people, in parts of London it is about one in every 20. So there is a very high chance that if you meet someone unnecessarily, they will have Covid.
I will be posting more articles on Whitty’s media appearances shortly,
Here is the agenda for the day.
11am: Sir Keir Starmer delivers a speech on the economy and families.
12h: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily lobby briefing.
12h15: Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Government Minister for Health, holds a press conference. He is due to release the Welsh government’s Covid vaccination plan.
12h15: The Scottish government is expected to hold its daily coronavirus briefing.
14h30: Kate Bingham, head of the government vaccine task force, and other senior officials testify before the Commons Public Accounts Committee on planning for the Covid vaccine.
17h: Matt Hancock, the Secretary of Health, is expected to hold a press conference. He will promote the UK government’s vaccine delivery plan released today.
Politics Live is now turning into a live blog on the UK coronavirus and, given how the Covid crisis overshadows everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we’ll cover non-Covid political stories as well, and when they seem bigger or more interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our live blog on the global coronavirus.
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