Professor Neil Ferguson has warned that as restrictions relax from today that cases could hit 200,000 a day due to the government’s strategy on Covid.
He said that modelling has indicated that it is “inevitable” there will be 100,000 daily cases as social distancing rules are now finished.
The government has admitted that things will get worse before they get better, whilst SAGE have warned Minister there could be over 5,000 deaths a month by the time the third wave peaks around mid-August.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Professor Ferguson was asked over the potential for 100,000 cases every day.
He told Marr, “The real question is, do we get to double that or even higher?
“And that’s where the crystal ball starts to fail. We could get to 2,000 hospitalisations a day, 200,000 cases a day, but it’s much less certain.”
He warned that the virus could put a “significant burden” on the NHS and Professor Ferguson told Marr that 2,000 hospitilisations a day could cause disruption.
He said that this would be “roughly half what we got to before Christmas with the second wave.”
He added, “There you are talking about major disruption of services and cancellation of elective surgery and the backlog in the NHS getting longer and longer.”
Marr asked what success at this stage of the pandemic looked like, he responded with, “Success would be keeping hospitalisations at around 1,000 a day level and then declining.
“Case numbers maybe peaking a little over 100,000 a day and then slowly declining. It is likely to be a slow decline.”
Professor Ferguson warned, “Going into the winter, I think we’ll have quite a high degree of immunity against Covid.
“The real concerns are a resurgence of influenza because we haven’t had any influenza for 18 months, immunity has waned in the population.
“That could be, frankly, almost as damaging, both for health and for the health system by December, January, as Covid has been this year.”