The NHS is on the verge of collapse, says a state coronavirus think tank.
The Joint Biosecurity Center, which includes the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers, has raised the Covid threat level to five, the highest.
The BBC reports that the ranking will change as the new Covid strain spreads across the UK.
The risk levels are measured using a five-level, color-coded warning system.
The government presented the system in May. The prime minister said it would help decide how tough social distancing measures should be.
There are five levels:
- Level five (red) – a “material risk of being overwhelmed by health services” – extremely strict social distancing
- Stage four – a high or increasing level of transmission – enforced social distancing
- Stage three – the virus is generally circulatory – social distancing relaxed
- Stage two – the number of cases and transmission are low – minimal social distancing
- Level one (green) – Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK – no social distancing
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be giving a televised address tonight outlining steps to combat the surge in coronavirus cases. Parliament is due to be called back on Wednesday, Downing Street said.
A spokesman # 10 said: “The spread of the new variant of Covid-19 has resulted in a rapid escalation in the number of cases across the country.
“The Prime Minister understands that more steps must be taken now to halt this rise, protect the NHS and save lives.
“He will interpret this tonight.”
The Prime Minister’s televised address is expected to take place on Monday at 8 p.m.