Chris Whitty warns next few weeks will be the worst of the pandemic 2 weeks ago

Chris Whitty warns next few weeks will be the worst of the pandemic

“This is going to be a significant crisis for the NHS unless we take evasive action."

Britain's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned the next few weeks will be the worst of the pandemic for the NHS, as he urged the public to stick to the rules and do their level best to reduce contact with other people.

Whitty emphasised that 30,000 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19, a significant increase from April last year, when 18,000 people were hospitalised by the first wave of the virus.

“This is going to be a significant crisis for the NHS unless we take evasive action,” he warned on BBC Breakfast, days into a third national lockdown amid rumours of tighter restrictions being brought in.

“We have a very significant problem. The next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS.


“What we need to do before the vaccines have had their effect… is we need to really double down: this is everybody’s problem. Any single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person.

“We’ve all got to, as individuals, help the NHS, help our fellow citizens by minimising the amount of unnecessary contacts we have.”

Whitty did not address rumours of restrictions being tightened but insisted the public must do everything they can to stick to the lockdown rules over the next few weeks.

“We’ve got to make this sustainable because we’ve got to be able maintain this for several more weeks now,” he said.

“We’re really going to have to do a significant action for all of us for several more weeks until probably sometime in the spring for very much of what we have to do.

"So, we do obviously need to be able to do essential work which they can't do from home. We fully accept that that's necessary to keep society going because you've got to be able to do it over a period of time.

"So, the three things that people can leave home for are essential work where they can't do it from home, when they are doing exercise - which is very important for people's physical health, their mental health - and for essential things like shopping or medical intervention."