Sir Mark Walport told BBC Breakfast that Britain needs to look at France and Spain to see the pressure that intensive care beds will be under if COVID-19 continues to spread. He added that coronavirus cases are rising everywhere and that it is challenging to keep the virus under control.
Sir Mark Walport said: “It is clear that it might have to happen as the numbers are going up.
“The number are going up very significantly, we can see the Nightingale Hospitals have started to reopen.
“You have only got to look across the channel to see what is happening in other countries in Europe to see the pressure that intensive cares beds are under in France and Spain.
“Everywhere the cases are rising, and we do know that they can be kept under control, but it is a challenging thing to do.”
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On Monday, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty backed further lockdown restrictions as he admitted that the current plan is “not enough”.
Prof Whitty, who is also a member of SAGE, explained that while the three tier system put in place will help slow the spread of COVID-19, more needs to be done by local authorities.
Speaking from Downing Street, Prof Whitty said: “I am very confident that the measures that are currently in place are working to slow the virus and these measures will help to slow it further.
“I am not confident and nor is anybody confident that the tier three proposals for the highest rates would be enough to get on top of it.
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“The central thing about this is these only work if people buy into them.
“I don’t just mean political leaders, although it’s absolutely essential that they do.
“But also everybody has got to buy into them because that’s how it works. Everybody doing their bit within this.”