By Rachael Grealish
There will be no second national lockdown, yet, and the NHS is still open to give all patients treatment, not just for COVID-19.
This was the message the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave to the country today, Wednesday September 30, when he was joined by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance at Downing Street.
Tragically, 71 people in the UK died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and 7,108 people have tested positive, but the PM has said: “I don’t want to return to a national lockdown.”
These numbers are incredibly similar to that the country was at just two days before the UK’s first lockdown, as pointed out by Robert Peston during the press conference.
However, this time round the doubling time of the virus at the moment is slower than in March, when it was three to four days – Prof Whitty confirmed.
Sir Patrick Vallance added it is much more likely that in April and March there were over 100,000 cases per day.
So you cannot make a like for like comparison between the published figures then and the published figures now, which are higher.
Johnson has said instead of a national lockdown, as we previously had, a package of measures is in place, a combination of national rules and local ones with tougher enforcement.
He said he hopes that if people follow the guidance as before we can get the spread down and wants to do that while keeping the economy open and young people in education.
Success of these tactics will be ‘judged in the days and weeks ahead’ and the PM added: “We will not hesitate to take further measures.”
Vallance reiterated case numbers are going up and adherence to the rules is crucial at this time.
The PM said they think the outbreak of cases seem to be ‘more localised’ than they were in Spring and Prof Whitty added to this saying a small number of deaths now does not mean that we could get to larger numbers of death quite quickly.
Johnson tackled the scepticism faced by some in the country saying: “I know some people think we should give up and let the virus take its course despite the huge loss of life that may entail.
“I profoundly disagree. I don’t think the British people want to throw in the sponge, they want to fight and defeat this virus.”
He says he will not allow the UK to be overwhelmed and we ‘must bear down on the virus now’.
Overall, Johnson said the way forward is ‘collective forbearance, common sense and willingness to make sacrifices’ once again urging people to follow the guidelines, adhere to rules and do their part.