UK could hit 50,000 COVID cases per day by mid October if rise continues unabated

FILE PHOTO: People walk through the Chinatown area, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, September 20, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - The COVID epidemic in Britain is doubling roughly every seven days and if it continues to do so there would be about 50,000 new cases per day by the middle of October, the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said on Monday.

“At the moment we think the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days” he said during a televised briefing.

“If, and that’s quite a big if, but if that continues unabated ... you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day,” he said, adding that this would lead a month later to more than 200 deaths per day.

Vallance said this was not a prediction, but a way of showing what would happen if the virus continued to spread at the current pace.

“The challenge, therefore, is to make sure that the doubling time does not stay at seven days ... and to make sure that we do not enter into this exponential growth,” he said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Costas Pitas