The U.K. suffered its worst day in the pandemic on Wednesday, with more than 1,800 deaths recorded in 24 hours, as Boris Johnson’s chief scientific adviser warned some hospitals now look “like a war zone.”
The record daily toll takes the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive test in the U.K. to 93,290. Almost 40,000 patients are now receiving treatment in U.K. hospitals.
England is in its third national lockdown and similar measures are in place across the U.K., but while the restrictions have started to bring infection rates down, officials say the death rates and pressures on the National Health Service will continue to grow.
“This is very, very bad at the moment, with enormous pressure,” Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told Sky News when asked about the situation in hospitals. “In some cases it looks like a war zone.”
Johnson reinforced the point. “It’s true that it looks as though the rates of infection in the country overall may now be peaking or flattening, but they’re not flattening very fast and it’s clear that we must keep a grip on this,” the premier told reporters Wednesday.
Ministers have previously said the lockdown could be eased gradually once about 15 million people who are most vulnerable to the disease have received vaccines, which the government wants done by mid-February.
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SOURCE: Bloomberg, Emily Ashton and Charles Capel