NHS ‘will be unable to cope’ with Covid-19 one month from now, scientist warns

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A top scientist has warned the NHS will be unable to cope with the influx of coronavirus patients one month from now if infection rates continue to soar.

Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, told BBC Radio 4 the UK is about a third of the level it was at “the peak of the pandemic” and the NHS could soon be "unable to cope."

Mr Ferguson said while coronavirus infections in 18 to 21-year-olds are falling, every other age group continues to rise "at about the same rate" they were.

He added that the government "really need to get on top of this" and called the influx of patients in hospitals a "worrying situation."

Professor Neil Ferguson said: "Unfortunately, in every other age group case numbers continue to rise at about the same rate they were.

"There are little hints of slowing, for instance in the North East of England, but we are not seeing the sort of slowing that we really need to to get on top of this," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"It is a worrying situation. We now have 8,000 people in hospital with Covid. That is about a third of the level we were at the peak of the pandemic in March."

He added: "If the rate of growth continues as it is, it means that in a month's time we will above that peak level in March and that is probably unsustainable.

"We are in a critical time right now. The health system will not be able to cope with this rate of growth for much longer."

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The stark warning comes after more than 100,000 people tested positive for coronavirus in a single week.

Statistics from the NHS Test and Trace system show 101,494 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to October 14.

The Office for National Statistics said there were around 35,200 cases per day between 10 and October 16 and that 433,000 people were currently infected.

On October 23 the number of coronavirus deaths in a 24 hour period surged to 224, up from 189 the day before that.

  • NHS
  • Coronavirus

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