"The following few weeks would be the worst of the pandemic," warns England's medical chief
A patient is being transferred to the Royal London Hospital in London during England's third national lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Sun January 10, 2021.
Aaron Chown / PA Images via Getty Images
LONDON – England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned Monday that the "next few weeks" will be the worst weeks of the coronavirus pandemic for the UK National Health Service.
Speaking to the BBC, Whitty stressed that more than 30,000 people have now been hospitalized with the virus across England alone.
The number of people across the UK who have died from the virus topped 80,000 over the weekend, reaching 81,567, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a serious incident over the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the British capital. One in 30 Londoners is said to be sick with the virus.
Whitty said that as a result, people would have to "double" compliance with public health restrictions as it would take several weeks for the coronavirus vaccines currently in use to take effect.
"Every single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in the chain of transmission that leads to a person at risk," said Whitty.
Vaccine Use Minister Nadhim Zahawi said in a statement released on Sunday that around 1.5 million Britons have now received the Covid-19 surge. He promised that by the end of this week there would be over 1,000 doctor-run locations operating, as well as 223 hospital locations, seven major vaccination centers and the first wave of 200 pharmacies in the community.
In a question and answer session on BBC radio on Monday morning, Whitty said, "I think we were all very relieved." The government overturned its decision to relax restrictions for five days so people can meet over Christmas amid news of a new variant of the coronavirus.