The UK is entering the “worst weeks” of the CCP virus pandemic, England’s chief medical officer said on Monday.
Professor Chris Whitty said the country must “double down” on lockdown measures before the vaccine roll-out begins to have an impact on the spread of the disease.
Witty blamed the grave situation on a new variant of the CCP virus, which the government said has a 50 to 70 percent faster rate of transmission.
“This new variant is really pushing things in a way that the old variant, which was already very bad, was not able to,” he told the BBC’s “Breakfast” programme.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics shows that on average one in 50 people have the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus in England, with around one in 30 for London, where infections have been rising the fastest.
“So this is a serious problem, and it’s rising in every part of England,” he told the BBC on Monday.
Witty said that the next few weeks are going to be “the worst weeks of this pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC on Sunday that around 2 million people in the UK had been vaccinated.
But Witty said the vaccine roll-out will take several weeks to have an effect in curbing the spread of the virus. Before that happens, he said, “we need to really double down” on reducing social contact.
“This is everybody’s problem. Any single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person,” he warned.
He urged the public to “help the NHS, help our fellow citizens, by minimising the amount of unnecessary contacts we have.”
Under the new restrictions, people may only leave home for limited reasons, such as to shop for “essentials,” to work if they cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance, or to escape domestic abuse.
Simon Veazey contributed to this report.