THE country is facing 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October top scientists have warned unless action is taken.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty gave a briefing on the rise in cases across the country.

Sir Patrick said the “vast majority of the population remain susceptible” to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.

The coronavirus infection rate in Colchester is now 7.7 cases per 100,000 people.

The figures, for the seven days to September 17, show 15 new cases were confirmed.

This is up from a rate of 6.7 cases per 100,000 people the week before but still way behind the likes of Liverpool and Blackburn with more than 130 cases per 100,000.

In a televised press conference, Sir Patrick said there was “no doubt” the UK was in a situation where the numbers were increasing among all age groups.

He said it was not a prediction, but the current doubling of cases every seven days could lead to a much higher numbers of cases and deaths.

“If – and that’s quite a big if – but if that continues unabated and this grows, doubling every seven days, then what you see, of course, let’s say there were 5,000 today, it would be 10,000 next week, 20,000 the week after, 40,000 the week after, and you can see that by mid-October, if that continued, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day.”

Prof Whitty hinted at curbs to social lives being needed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control.


He said there were four things to do – washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.

“The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted,” he said. “And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work and also in social environments.

“This is a balance of risk between if we don’t do enough the virus will take off – and at the moment that is the path we’re clearly on – and if we do not change course we are going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem.”

Colchester shopping centre Lion Walk, which has seen success since reopening, said it was prepared to do whatever was needed.

Centre manager Martin Leatherdale said it was hard to predict what would happen next but they were ready to react.

He said: “If we are in the position of reaching a local lockdown we will support the local authorities with whatever is needed.

“We will go above and beyond to be in line with government guidance and protect customers and colleagues.


“We will continue with our one way system, have staff on hand to support and have hand sanitiser available. We have tried to keep Lion Walk accommodating and trust people.”

Last week The Bull, in Crouch Street, Colchester, became one of the first to be served direction by Essex County Council under the Coronavirus Act 2020 for failing to observe safe Covid practices.

The authority said despite advice and warnings, the pub did not stick to the guidance as set out in the legislation, which grants the government emergency powers to handle the pandemic.