BRITAIN’S new Health Secretary has warned Covid cases will hit an astonishing 100,000 a day within six weeks – but says the Government is committed to ending lockdown.
Sajid Javid warned of new super-infectious mutations – and said the situation is “uncharted territory”.
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New Health Sec Sajid Javid warned today that there’ll be 100,000 positive Covid tests a day by the end of summerCredit: i-Images
And Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley clashed over wearing masks
The PM announced last night that Brits will largely be allowed to make their own decisions on masksCredit: Reuters
However, he reassured Brits that jabs have “severely weakened” the chances infected people will become seriously ill or die.
“By the time we get to the 19th, we would expect cases numbers by then to be at least double what they are now, so around 50,000 new cases a day,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
“As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly.
“It could go as high as 100,000 case numbers.”
Mr Javid was then quizzed by Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Good Morning Britain.
He told the presenters cases are “around 25,000 at the moment, and 27,000 in the past 24 hours”.
“We expect by the time we start easing on July 19, that number will rise again significantly to maybe 50,000,” he said.
“I have to be honest, I think the case number will rise again significantly over the summer, perhaps to 100,000.”
But he said when cases were at a similar rate to the current surge, 500 people a day were dying – adding: “Now we’re a 30th of that.”
It comes as:
Despite fears over rising cases, Boris Johnson last night announced almost all restrictions will vanish this month.
But he too warned of 50,000 new daily cases within weeks – and warned: “We must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid.”
And GMB’s Dr Hilary Jones said stage four of the roadmap will turn the country into a “breeding ground”.
The medic made the grim prediction as Susanna and Richard clashed over wearing masks.
While Madeley insisted the vaccine has “broken the link” between infections, hospitalisations and deaths, Dr Hilary said there’s a long road out of the pandemic ahead.
Opening today’s show Susanna said she feels “very wary” about ditching masks.
She told her co-host: “If I’m concerned about masks and you’re not, and we’re in the same shop and you’re not bothered, I’m wearing my mask and you’re getting protection, but you’re not wearing your mask and I’m not getting protection.”
Richard replied that although he’s glad the PM has dropped the directive on face coverings, he’ll continue to wear one until he “senses people out there are comfortable getting back to normal”.
“It’s good manners not to spook other people,” he said.
But Dr Hilary warned the end of restrictions will cause an explosion of cases – adding: “We’re very arrogant in this country”.
But Dr Hilary warned we’re set to see an explosion in cases
The medic predicted 50,000 cases within daysCredit: Reuters
And he said ‘arrogant’ Brits are ‘putting far too much faith in the vaccine’
“We’re putting far too much faith in the vaccination,” he said.
“We’d be in a great position if we were only dealing with the Alpha and Kent variants, but actually we’re dealing with the Delta, which is much more transmissible.
“We’re going to have 50,000 cases probably in another few days.”
And as Richard argued that most of the new cases will be in people who haven’t received both jabs, Dr Hilary replied: “We have a factory, a breeding ground, for another variant – what would you say, Richard, if another variant came along which is transmissible and is resistant to the vaccine?”
“If it’s resistant to the vaccine, then we have a problem,” the host said, but added: “How much longer are we going to go on fearing the possibility of another variant?”
The pair later quizzed Mr Javid – who says lockdown isn’t being lifted too soon, although cautioned: “There is no risk-free way forward.”
The PM last night said ‘if not now, when?’ as he announced the end of almost all restrictionsCredit: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St
Social distancing will also come to an end this monthCredit: PA
He will scrap almost all other regulations.
In just two weeks’ time, there will be no punishment or fines for mixing indoors in large groups in England for the first time since March 2020.
The rule of six will be scrapped and mass gatherings will be allowed outside for the first time in 18 months.
There will be no legal requirement to wear a mask on trains or in shops for the first time since last June, and no fiddly QR code check-ins at pubs.
Defying critics who say Freedom Day should be delayed because of rising Covid cases, BoJo told the nation it was “now or never to unlock” thanks to the vaccine keeping deaths low.
Hailing the end to “government diktats”, the PM said now was the time for “careful and balanced individual judgements” as we learn to live with the bug.
He said he would continue to wear a mask out of choice in crowded places as a “common courtesy” to others.
It will remain illegal to defy orders to self-isolate on testing positive for Covid or coming into contact with a patient without being double jabbed.
Boris Johnson will hand Brits back their freedom this July