The UK government has said it will introduce a new legal duty requiring people in England to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus, or are traced as a close contact. From 28 September, those who refuse an order to self-isolate could be fined up to £10,000. The new measures also include a one-off support payment of £500 for those on lower incomes. The PM is still considering tightening restrictions further after a surge in cases across the UK – another 4,422 cases were recorded on Saturday.
Meanwhile top expert issues warning that the United Kingdom could see 50,000 new Covid-19 cases every day by mid-October if no swift action is taken . the Boris Johnson government considered imposing another national lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Chris Whitty said the number of cases is doubling every seven days. For the first time in recent months, they appeared on live television without a minister present to report the new data described as “critical”.
“If, and that’s quite a big if, but if that continues unabated, and this grows, doubling every seven days…you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day”, Vallance said.
He projected more than 200 daily deaths by mid-November.
“The challenge, therefore, is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days. That requires speed, it requires action and it requires enough in order to be able to bring that down.”
After daily increases in cases in the hundreds in July and August, the figures have consistently been in the thousands in September. On Sunday, 3,899 new cases and 18 deaths were reported across the UK, as the experts reiterated basic precautions needed.
Setting out current situation in Spain and France, the experts said the UK is seeing similar increases, with new cases rising across all age groups, but particularly among the youth. The call for action is also prompted by the annual challenge of dealing with seasonal ailments in winter.