The chief medical officer said hospitalizations for coronavirus are doubling about every three weeks and could reach “pretty frightening numbers”.
His stern warning comes days before ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19 and the final step in Boris Johnson’s roadmap to get out of the borders of Covid.
But high-profile doc Professor Whitty said the country was “not out of the woods yet” as cases hit their highest level in six months.
Speaking during a webinar at the Science Museum yesterday, Professor Whitty said, “I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly quickly. “
He added, “We’re by no means out of the woods on this, we’re in much better shape thanks to the immunization program, drugs and a variety of other things.
“But it has a long way to go in the UK, and it’s even further from working globally. “
Boris Johnson told Britons we need to ‘learn to live with Covid’ as he announces a regulatory fire from July 19.
Rules in England on social distancing, mandatory masks and work-from-home orders will be removed from Monday.
But Professor Whitty has warned that if the vaccines do not “soften” the virus, the Prime Minister may have to “reconsider” the reimposition of restrictions in “five, six, seven, eight weeks.”
Another 63 deaths were reported in Britain yesterday, the highest number since March.
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Daily cases hit their highest number since January with 48,553 positive tests in 24 hours.
Test and Trace figures showed 194,005 people tested positive in England in the week to July 7, up 43% from the previous week.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that cases could reach 100,000 a day over the summer.
Professor Whitty added, “We still have over 2,000 people hospitalized, and that number is growing.
I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly quickly
“If we double from 2,000 to 4,000, 4,000 to 8,000, to 8,000 and so on, it doesn’t take long to double until you’re really in a very, very large number. “
He added: “This epidemic is doubling. It doubles the number of cases. It also doubles the number of people hospitalized and doubles the number of deaths. “
Professor Whitty urged Britons to “take it incredibly slowly” after July 19 and not to be “hypnotized” by anti-vaccines.
Britain’s vaccination campaign slowed significantly this month, as the number of first-dose acceptances fell to an all-time high.
INCREASE IN CASES
The total number of people who received at least one dose of the vaccine is now 46,097,464, an increase of just 60,374 yesterday.
Meanwhile, Covid cases among men have increased during Euro 2020 compared to women, data has revealed.
Figures from Public Health England showed 10,267 more young men than women tested positive in the past fifteen weeks, although cases have remained roughly equal during the pandemic.
It comes as a Covid ‘pingemia’ hits pubs, factories, hospitals and airports with staff isolations.
The NHS Test & Trace app ordered a record 520,194 to stay home in just one week, a 46% increase from the previous seven days.
On Monday, the Prime Minister pleaded with the British not to go mad next week as restrictions are relaxed – and stressed that July 19 should not be “treated as a great jubilee”.
He urged the public to exercise “extreme caution” as the country fully unlocks itself.
Mr Johnson warned the pandemic was ‘not over’ as he said masks would be advised in crowded and enclosed spaces even after legal checks end.