The daily number of Covid-19 cases in the UK fell for the first time in a month today as health officials announced 24,701 more infections in hopes the second wave could finally subside.
Health Department statistics show 26,688 positive coronavirus tests were added to the government's count last Wednesday. This means that today, for the first time since September 28th, when the count was hit by a counting error, the daily number of cases has decreased to the amount recorded the week before.
But deaths keep increasing. Another 310 coronavirus victims were registered today, up from 191 released around this time last week. Yesterday officials announced 367 deaths, the highest daily number since late May. It can take several weeks for infected patients to become seriously ill, which means the death toll in some cases falls short of any increase.
It comes as Tory MPs called on Boris Johnson today to oppose appeals for tougher measures after the Prime Minister was warned by his senior scientific advisers that the UK is facing a second wave of coronavirus, even more deadly than the first.
Projections from SAGE suggest that the peak of the second wave will be lower than that of the first wave. However, the peak is expected to last longer, with high numbers of daily deaths likely to last for months, resulting in a second wave of the lampshade.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the main scientific adviser to Number 10, urges the government to take more drastic measures as soon as possible to slow the spread of the disease amid fears that daily deaths will hit 500 within weeks. It is believed that by mid-December, SAGE will force all of England to lock down Stage Three.
But Mr Johnson faces a difficult balancing act as his pundits call for stricter restrictions while Tory MPs call for the Prime Minister to adopt a lockdown exit strategy.
Senior Conservatives claimed that SAGE appeared to have worked in a "medical vacuum" without appreciating the economic climate or how people felt about concerns about the impact of current regulations on mental health. One MP added: "What would be the purpose of imposing lockdowns in parts of the country where there is very little Covid?"
According to an internal analysis submitted by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) to Number 10, deaths will peak at lower levels than they did in the spring, but could stay high for weeks or even months with a Christmas break unlikely
According to sources within SAGE, 25,000 people with Covid-19 could be hospitalized by the end of November, more than double the current 10,000. Latest figures from NHS England suggest the country has about 110,000 beds, plus tens of thousands more in the Nightingale hospitals that were built and unused during the first wave. This suggests that even if the dire prediction of 25,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals by next month comes true, health services won't be overwhelmed
But Mr Johnson is facing a balancing act, with SAGE pundits calling for stricter lockdowns while Tory MPs push for a roadmap of restrictions
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE LAMPSHADE?
A coronavirus lockdown broke out today after No10 scientific advisors called for another national shutdown to contain the Covid-19 resurgence in the UK. The predictions assume that the second wave could be more deadly than the first because it will last longer.
Top pundits questioned why the "incredibly harmful intervention" was being considered when Britain successfully suppressed its epidemic earlier this year and the NHS is still a long way from being at full capacity. Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan told MailOnline: “We flattened the curve and protected the NHS. What happened to learning to live with the virus? & # 39;
It emerges today that SAGE – the emergency scientific advisory group that is steering the government through the Covid-19 crisis – predicted that the winter wave of the virus will be more deadly than the first and take the shape of a "lampshade" .
Modeling by the advisory board circulating on Downing Street has predicted a smaller but longer lasting second peak that could see a moderate number of daily deaths for months, eventually overtaking the spring death toll of 40,000. By comparison, around 200 Covid-19 patients are currently dying every day, and more than 1,000 patients were killed every day during the darkest period in March and April.
Mr Johnson previously described the government's coronavirus curve, which shows the number of deaths like a sombrero or a camel's hump. However, the latest SAGE modeling suggests that the second wave will look like a "lampshade," with deaths peaking in a month and then staying high for months before finally falling.
Sources within SAGE warn that 25,000 people with Covid-19 could be hospitalized by the end of November, more than double the 10,000 currently receiving NHS care.
According to recent figures, the country has around 110,000 beds and thousands more in the Nightingale hospitals that were built and not used during the first wave. Thousands of private beds have also been hired to give the NHS some air to breathe as the number of Covid-19 patients increases.
The main rationale for a national lockdown is to protect the NHS from congestion. However, the latest data suggests that even if the dire prediction of 25,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals by next month is true, the health service will not be overwhelmed.
Professor Heneghan, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, told MailOnline: “Lockdown should be a last resort to protect the NHS. The basic goal (of the initial lockdown) was to protect the NHS. At this point we had no tests and we had no treatments or test and trace so it was warranted.
& # 39; We managed to smooth the curve and we have it now (knowledge of the virus and drugs, and public health measures to prevent the spread). What happened to learning to live with the virus? People requesting a lock must be aware that it is a blunt tool that only brings the can to its knees. We need to get the message across now that this is not going away. It's about managing the effects of Covid-19. & # 39;
The latest coronavirus developments were:
- More and more police forces from across the UK confirmed they will enforce coronavirus restrictions if broken over Christmas. Almost 20 percent of families said they ignored the rule of six.
- Manchester Nightingale Hospital was the first mothball facility in England to reopen today to free hospital beds in the North West.
- SAGE member Professor Sir Mark Walport said it was "not unrealistic" to believe that 25,000 Covid-19 patients could be in hospitals by the end of November;
- Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, called on Mr Johnson to convene a Four Nations Summit to agree the UK's coronavirus rules for the Christmas season.
- Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow health minister, said the government's failure to impose a breaker lockout at half time means ministers now "must do something quickly to save Christmas".
- More hospitals announced that they are suspending the non-urgent surgery because of the influx of coronavirus patients.
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that he would announce the government's spending plans for the coming year on November 25th.
- Mark Drakeford announced another 37 coronavirus deaths in Wales, the highest daily number in more than six months.
- Bristol risked confusion when it announced it was moving into what is known as "Tier One Plus," a move that includes introducing Covid Marshals and taking on more test and trace powers.
- The FTSE 100 closed 1.9 percent when it hit its lowest level in six months.
- The number of drug offenses rose 30 percent during the coronavirus lockdown as the total number of registered crimes fell by a quarter compared to 2019.
- Protesters have taken to the streets again in Spain and Italy to express their anger over new coronavirus restrictions as European nations face a second full lockdown.
The Northern Research Group, with more than 50 Conservative MPs, many from constituencies on what is known as the Red Wall, firmly believes that the Prime Minister must publish a roadmap on how areas can get out of Tier 3, as rebels warned that the north England is treated unfairly.
The group's efforts were spurred yesterday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak when he said he shared MPs' frustrations with rule-imposing and "they want to know when it will be over" in an overt reference to his opposition to a national shutdown.
Despite warnings from SAGE, Environment Secretary George Eustice insisted this morning that a national lockdown was "not appropriate" as "there is no point in being locked in those parts of the country where the incidence of the disease is very low" .
Mr Eustice also dashed hopes for a normal Christmas feast today when he warned number 10 was ready to act to stop illegal large family gatherings during the holiday season. He also claimed that even gatherings that adhere to the rule of six could be banned if they include people who live in different levels of lockdown.
His comments come after Britain woke up today with predictions of a gloomy winter after it emerged that the SAGE Council to the Prime Minister predicted that the second wave could be even more deadly than the first.
A source in Whitehall told The Telegraph, “It's going to get worse this time, more deaths.
"This is the projection that was presented to the Prime Minister and he is now under great pressure to re-lock."
MANCHESTER'S NIGHTINGALE BECOMES THE FIRST MOTH BALLED HOSPITAL TO REOPEN
NHS bosses announced that the Manchester Central Conference Center 911, which was put on alert earlier this month, would start accepting non-coronavirus patients as of today for fear the area's hospitals could be overwhelmed by a surge in infections
Manchester Nightingale Hospital was the first mothball facility in England to reopen today to free hospital beds in the North West.
NHS chiefs announced that the Manchester Central Conference Center 911, which was put on high alert earlier this month over fears that the area's hospitals could be overwhelmed by a surge in infections, will start treating non-coronavirus patients today would record.
The emergency hospital closed in June when the first wave of the outbreak broke out in the UK, but has been brought back to readiness amid fears that local hospitals could be flooded again. Greater Manchester, home to around 2.8 million people, was forced into a third tier lockdown last week to address rising cases.
The nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have all been asked to "mobilize" earlier this month to prepare for an expected surge in patients in the north of England.
The Manchester facility, which first opened in April, can accommodate 750 patients. However, it is unclear whether they will have enough doctors and nurses to provide all of the beds.
It reopens as the numbers show that the number of coronavirus patients treated in the Northwest is approaching the levels they had at the height of the first wave.
SAGE has separately warned that it believes the whole of England must be placed in the top tier of restrictions by mid-December, with the risk of Christmas get-togethers being canceled entirely.
Mr Johnson previously described the government's coronavirus charts, which show the number of deaths like a sombrero or a camel's hump.
However, the latest SAGE modeling suggests that there will likely be something called a "lampshade" chart in the coming months when the infections peak and then stay high for weeks or even moths before they finally fall .
Government experts believe daily deaths could linger by the hundreds for months, well beyond Christmas and possibly well into March.
A government source told The Sun that the latest Sage numbers were "extremely bleak". It is predicted that 25,000 people with Covid-19 could be hospitalized by the end of November.
That would be an even higher number than the peak in hospital stays during the first wave. The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 is currently just under 10,000.
Health chiefs believe the daily death toll could rise to 500 in a matter of weeks, still well below the over 1,000 recorded during the peak of the first wave amid fears the government's animal system was inadequate Get a grip on infections again.
Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of SAGE, said this morning there was "little need to be reassured" at the moment and it was "certainly not unrealistic to believe" that 25,000 people could be in hospital by the end of November.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “We are relatively early in the second wave, and as we know, there is a significant delay – two to three, two to four weeks – between actual infection and potential Death of people and so on The number of deaths always lags behind the number of cases reported at one time. So there is little reason to calm down. & # 39;
He added: “There are still very many people who are at risk. It's not that the disease killed everyone who is at risk. There are still very many people who are at risk, and we only know that a relatively small part of the population still has this infection. & # 39;
However, Sir Mark said he hoped improved treatments for coronavirus could keep the death toll down.
He said, “The number of cases is rising very sharply – on October 27th it was 22,800 and the seven-day average was just over 22,000. So there are very many cases.
"One of the differences, of course, is that we can now take better care of people with coronavirus and hopefully the death rate is lower than the first wave, but at the end of the day the death rate, the number of people dying, is a product of the Number of people infected and their vulnerabilities. & # 39;
There are now more than eight million people across England living in Tier Three areas, almost all of which are in the north of the country.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out a nationwide breaker lockout.
The FTSE 100 falls for fear of a second lock
Today's FTSE 100 fell to its lowest level in six months amid mounting fears over the direction of the UK coronavirus crisis.
Investors preferred to deposit riskier assets as uncertainty increases over whether the government could impose stricter Covid-19 rules or even a national shutdown if cases increase.
The index fell 1.9 percent after losses in real estate and travel stocks.
The FTSE 250 index also fell 1.5 percent as it fell to a three-week low after falling retailers and banks.
The slumps came after markets were rocked by reports that Boris Johnson was under pressure from government scientific experts to propose new lockdown measures after SAGE warned that the second wave of infections could be more deadly than the first.
Analysts fear a new lockdown could affect the UK's economic recovery this summer.
But he is reluctant to press the atomic button because it would damage the economy and because the Tory revolt is increasing via lockdown measures.
The Northern Research Group, with more than 50 Conservative MPs, wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday asking him to create a "roadmap" on how areas can get out of Tier 3.
The group received a boost when Mr Sunak, who represents a constituency in Yorkshire, lined up to sympathize with the argument he had made.
He told the BBC: "I absolutely share my colleague's frustration with restrictions. Obviously, that's frustrating when you have to live among these things and want to know when it will be over."
Growing Tory unrest over current coronavirus restrictions means Mr Johnson is likely to face an angry backlash if he opts for a national lockdown, even if it's only for a few weeks.
The NRG calls for an exit strategy, however, were briefly summed up by some in Whitehall who said it was not possible to set simple criteria for exiting the third stage as they stressed that it must be a decision based on myriad factors .
A Whitehall source told The Sun, "The exit path these guys want doesn't yet exist."
Mr Eustice today insisted that the government stick to its strategy of local bans.
He told Times Radio, “In a way, we always expected there would be a second surge.
“For this reason, we have been closely monitoring the situation since September and, with these three different intervention levels, promptly introduced restrictions that are appropriate to the prevalence level in certain parts of the country.
“And we're adding to that all the time, so Warrington was transferred to the very high risk area yesterday and there is now discussion about Nottingham.
"So we are trying to intervene appropriately across the country, but we don't think it appropriate to have a national lockdown as there are parts of the country like Cornwall where the disease actually occurs very low."
Mr Eustice told the BBC: "We have learned, and I think we currently believe that there is no point in being banned in those parts of the country where the incidence of the disease is very low."
The cabinet minister also claimed the tiered system held the virus' natural R-rate between 2.7 and 3 down to current levels between 1.4 and 1.5.
Pressure on Mr Johnson over the government's coronavirus strategy came as Britain's European neighbors braced for tighter restrictions.
Both France and Germany are expected to announce new rules in the coming days to combat a surge in infections.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have called on Mr Johnson to convene a four-nation summit to save Christmas as the party warned that it was "inevitable" that people travel to be with loved ones.
The Party has written to Mr Johnson, as well as Scottish Leader Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster asking them to work together on a draft for the festive season.
Lib Dem chairman Sir Ed Davey said that since family members are often spread across the different nations of the UK, it makes sense to have a number of coronavirus rules in place this Christmas to avoid confusion.
The Bureau of National Statistics figures showed that 761 Brits fell victim to the disease in the week ending October 16, the last record period. The disease has not killed more people in a week since June 19, when 849 people died. At the time, the country was still under national lockdown
Rishi Sunak will be making spending plans on November 25th
Rishi Sunak will set out the government's spending plans for the next year on November 25, he announced today as the coronavirus ravages the UK economy.
The Chancellor had already confirmed that she would abolish a planned multi-year spending review after the turmoil caused by the pandemic.
Instead, he will devise a 12 month plan that will aim to deal with the dire financial implications of the global shutdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to use the three-year spending review to set out his master plan for delivering on his promise to "level" the nation.
However, the cancellation confirmed that the government has now admitted that it must focus all of its energy on fighting the Covid-19 fire.
Mr Sunak tweeted today: “On November 25th, along with the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) forecast, I will present the 2020 Spending Review and the spending plans for the next year so we can continue to prioritize our response to Covid-19 and protect jobs can . & # 39;
The party wants the four nations to agree on “unified guidance” on the number of people who can assemble, work together in the safe return of students, and examine how travel options can be expanded to allow people to move around the country while maintaining social distance.
Such a unified approach would represent a dramatic departure from the current way of working, in which the four nations act largely independently in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Ashworth said the government's failure to use halftime to shut down the circuit breaker means they now "need to do something quickly to save Christmas".
But Mr Eustice said it was "far too early" to set guidelines for the festive season.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are constantly judging what restrictions may be required and what restrictions are appropriate in a given area.
"It's far too early to say exactly where things will be by Christmas, but the Prime Minister has made it clear that people should have a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible."
It came when a police and detective superintendent warned the police could cancel Christmas dinner if people break coronavirus rules.
West Midlands Commissioner David Jamieson said officials must enforce any lockdown rules set by the government during the holiday season, as he also spoke of his fears of a "time bomb" of the unrest.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr. Jamieson said, “If we believe that large groups of people are gathering where they shouldn't be, the police must intervene.
“If there is another obvious violation of the rules, the police would have to enforce it.
“It is not the job of the police to stop people from enjoying Christmas.
"However, we are there to enforce the rules that the government makes and when the government makes those rules, the government has to explain it to the public."
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