The UK chief physician Professor Chris Whitty said the UK number of more than 80,000 deaths from Covid-19 was “shocking”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I think it’s a shocking number, and I think anyone who isn’t shocked about the number of people in hospitals who are seriously ill right now and who are dying in the course of this pandemic I think has.” did not understand that at all.
“This is an appalling situation.
“We are now very close to where with vaccination we will be able to get over it, but it is not that far yet.”
“And what we really have to do if we don’t want the numbers to rise any further is that everyone has to minimize the number of unnecessary contacts they have at their time.”
There have been 81,431 deaths in the UK from Covid, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked deaths around the world.
Professor Whitty said this was the “most dangerous time” in terms of the number of people with Covid-19 who will need NHS care.
England’s Chief Medical Officer told BBC Breakfast, “I think everyone accepts that this is the most dangerous time we have really had at this point in terms of the number of NHS members.”
“So, absolutely, politicians from every political party, leaders from every nation, take this incredibly seriously right now, and we all have to.”
He added: “If people take this very seriously, if they keep the number of individual contacts to an absolute minimum – the things they have to do for work, exercise and essentials – that is the most important thing.
“In a sense it might be useful to tinker with the rules, but what is far more important is that everyone stick to the spirit of the rules that are currently in place.
“Everyone knows what to do. And I think that’s the key – minimize the number of contacts. “
Professor Whitty said that even within the current rules, people should try to rule out unnecessary contacts.
“Ministers are always looking to adjust the restrictions in both directions, but at this moment they are clearly definitely not being relaxed,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“The most important thing is that people take the current rules very, very seriously and make as few contacts as possible.
“The most important thing now is that people actually say, ‘Look, these are the rules, they are really clear and we shouldn’t be doing anything that is outside of them, but we should actually be doing our doing, even within them level best to minimize unnecessary contact with people who do not come from our home. ‘
“I cannot stress this enough. If you think about the pressure the NHS is under right now, we can all help to ease the pressure over the next few weeks.”