Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has called for a three-week national lockdown after warning the infection milestone had been reached

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The “worst-case scenario” of 50,000 cases of coronavirus per day across the UK is “almost exactly where we are at”, a top advisor has warned.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) predicted the daily case number had hit the milestone.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The ONS survey, which is the best data in the country at the moment, shows that 27,000 people are getting this infection every day. But that was until the 10th of October.

“Today it will be over 50,000, just as the CMO (chief medical officer) Chris Whitty and (the Government’s chief scientific adviser) Sir Patrick Vallance suggested some three weeks ago.

“It would be at 50,000 new cases across the country every single day, and that’s almost exactly where we are.”

Sir Jeremy added: “The reasonable worst-case scenario that Sage articulated has now been broached, it is worse than the situation Sage advised on three or four weeks ago.

In a bid to get infection rates down across the country, Sir Jeremy has called for a three week national lockdown.

He has suggested that the circuit breaker lockdown, in which movements in public and gatherings would be severely restricted, would stop cases spiralling.

Professor Lucy Yardley, of the University of Bristol, has warned that people may stop reporting coronavirus symptoms if overly draconian measures were introduced, as may be necessary with a full national lockdown.

The SAGE expert told the Andrew Marr show: “I think the effect of fines is very likely to be that people will be afraid to report any symptoms.

“Because the consequence can be that not only them, but family members and work colleagues would be asked to self-isolate when they really couldn’t afford to.

She added: “It is much harder to follow rules if you can’t remember what they are and they keep changing all the time.

“I think people are getting a bit disillusioned with the rules because they feel as if they’re making a lot of effort and the infection rates are going up.”


News – UK ‘almost exactly’ at 50,000 daily coronavirus cases ‘worst-case scenario’