The UK is raising its coronavirus alert level from 3 to 4 in response to rising infections that could top 50,000 a day according to the government’s leading scientific advisors.
The Prime Minister is set to address the House of Commons on Tuesday following a sharp rise in infections across the UK that could lead to hospitals being overwhelmed in the winter months. With cases on a trajectory to exceed 50,000 new infections a day, the number of deaths directly and indirectly related to the virus could rise.
Following the lockdown, the government is eager not to repeat previous measures given their severe impact on economic activity. However there will be a fine balancing act as the rise in infections could severely hamper the NHS as it diverts more resources away from other operations that are already facing severe delays.
With the winter months the most difficult for the NHS, the UK is looking to slow down the spread early following criticism it reacted too slowly when it first initiated its lockdown. France and Spain are in comparison, seeing infection rates above 10-15000 a day, an alarming rise that could also cripple the EU’s recovery. The UK has already imposed a number of quarantine measures for EU member states and countries with infection rates above 20 per 100,000 people.