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Warning of ‘uptick’ in intensive care admissions as PM says follow rules to avoid new lockdown

Written by on 30/09/2020

Boris Johnson has warned Britons that the “only way” to avoid a new national lockdown is to follow the latest coronavirus rules.

The prime minister, flanked by his chief medical and scientific advisers for the 100th coronavirus briefing from Downing Street since the start of the pandemic, said the UK faced a “critical moment” in the fight against COVID-19.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said there had been a “significant uptick” in the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care in northeast England, northwest England and, to some extent, in London.

“The direction of travel for both hospitals and intensive care is going in the wrong direction, particularly in the areas that have seen rapid increases in cases,” Prof Whitty said.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, also warned: “This is headed in the wrong direction, there is no cause for complacency.”

Mr Johnson, who has introduced the “rule of six” and last week imposed a 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants, made repeated pleas for the public to follow both the new national restrictions and the localised measures that have been introduced across many parts of the UK.

The prime minister also refused to rule out further measures to slow the spread of transmission.

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He said ministers and scientists would have to “watch what’s happening” with their aim to avoid another national lockdown, as was enforced in the spring.

“What we are not doing at the moment is going back to the situation we were in in March,” Mr Johnson said.

“And, I really don’t want to do this.

“I don’t want to go back to a national lockdown where the overall guidance is stay at home, that is not what we are saying.

“We want to keep the economy moving. We want to keep young people, pupils in education.

“But the only way we can do that is if we all follow the guidance and depress the virus.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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