England's assistant chief medical officer has turned down calls for a national breaker lockdown to stem the surge in coronavirus cases.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said imposing severe restrictions in areas of low infection would not slow the spread of the disease in hotspots like the northwest.
He flanked Boris Johnson at a press conference on Downing Street tonight and stressed that a circuit breaker was "incompatible with the epidemiological picture".
The Prime Minister has defied Labor demands to follow Wales and Northern Ireland into a nationwide lockdown and is pushing ahead with a localized strategy.
Wise scientists also recommended that ministers put in a breaker to suppress the virus.
But Prof. Van-Tam seemed to be rowing behind the Prime Minister tonight and after appearing A series of maps highlighting different rates of infection across the country stressed that the evidence does not support a blanket national approach.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said imposing severe restrictions in areas of low infection would not slow the spread of the disease in hotspots like the northwest
He flanked Boris Johnson at a press conference on Downing Street tonight, insisting that a circuit breaker “does not match the epidemiological picture”.
He said: & # 39;We are trying to draw a very fine line between controlling the virus in areas where it has gotten out of control and losing the minimal economic damage. Tough action is required in areas where it gets out of hand.
“But at the moment I think it appropriate to insist on similar tough measures, for example in the south-west of England or in Kent, where the extent of the disease is very, very much lower than in the north of England – the national fire break you talked about have? No, I don't think that's right.
"I don't think this is in line with the epidemiological picture we're seeing."
The strictest restrictions required in areas such as Liverpool and Manchester for places with low infection levels such as Cornwall and East Anglia to be imposed are "inappropriate," he added.
His comments seemed to separate from other manners who urged the government to initiate a short circuit breaker.
Minutes of a September 21 meeting showed that the group had advised ministers to take such action.
It was confiscated by Sir Keir Starmer, who asked the government to impose a nationwide lockdown.
But his demands were flatly rejected by the Prime Minister, who is sticking to his tiered approach of dividing regions into medium, high and very high alert levels.
Tonight, however, Prof. Van-Tam, often referred to by his initials JVT, warned that we might have to step on the pedal a little harder to get the R-rate under control.
Prof. Stephen Powis warned that Liverpool University Hospitals are expecting a higher number of Covid patients by Wednesday than at the height of the first wave in April
The daily number of coronavirus cases, counted by the date the sample was taken, has been decreasing in key cities in recent days
His concern was confirmed by Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of the NHS England, who said, "The last thing we want to do is use the capacity we have in hospitals to treat other diseases."
Prof. Powis warned that Liverpool university hospitals are expecting a higher number of Covid patients by Wednesday than they did at the height of the first wave in April.
And he said that at the current growth rate in Manchester, the number of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 could reach the highest pandemic levels in 14 days.
However, he expressed concern about the rate of change in infections among those over 60 across the country.
“I really want to emphasize that it is those over 60 who worry us the most because these are the people who are seriously ill with Covid-19. They are more likely to be hospitalized if they are hospitalized where they stay longer in the hospital and unfortunately they are more difficult to rescue, ”he said.
He said that infections in younger people are now permeating these older age groups.
"This means the hospital admissions and deaths associated with these cases are now branded in for the next two to three weeks," he added.
Prof. Van-Tam continued, “Almost everywhere in England there is now some degree of heat heating and we are trying to draw a very fine line between controlling the virus in areas where it has gotten out of control and the minimal economic burden to draw harm in the process.
"It is clear that tough action is needed in areas that are getting out of hand."
However, it is inappropriate to insist that the same measures be taken in areas where disease levels are much lower.
Prof. Van-Tam added, “We just cannot afford to let our elderly die.
“And we cannot afford to have our NHS being completely consumed by taking care of Covid, so that it cannot do its other business as usual.
“So we have to take as tough measures as necessary to stop this.
“We are now driving with the brakes partially on – and the R is 1.3 to 1.5 according to the latest estimates – so we cannot take the brakes off here and may have to step on the pedal a little harder to get it back under control bring. & # 39;
He said he expected death rates to "keep rising".
Prof. Powis said, “There are differences across the country and this is reflected in the number of patients we see in the hospital.
"For example, there are currently more patients in the hospital in Greater Manchester than in hospitals in all of the south-east and south-west of the country."
He added, “We can all play a role. It is up to everyone in the public to adhere to measures to reduce the spread of the virus and this will then reduce hospital admissions.
"It will not only benefit people with Covid, but also other patients who don't have Covid because the last thing we want to do is use the capacity we have in hospitals to treat other conditions."
Prof. Powis said the number of patients in Greater Manchester hospitals has doubled in the past two weeks, and if it doubles again, hospital admissions in the area could be similar to the April peak.
"In two weeks, at the current rate of increase, we might well see the number of patients in Greater Manchester that we saw at the peak in April," he said.
Prof. Powis added, “I expect Liverpool University Hospitals will have as many or more patients with Covid in their hospitals by tomorrow as they did at the peak in April.
“And I think that shows how quickly infection rates and hospital admissions can rise if we don't get this under control.
"So it is very important for everyone to follow these measures to maintain social distancing and, quite simply, to ensure that the virus cannot spread."