COVID cases headed in 'wrong direction', CMO warns

Local lockdowns in the North of England and the Midlands do not mean that coronavirus is "someone else's problem" and that care to stop the spread of the virus should not be taken elsewhere.

This was the message from the UK's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, who warned in a briefing this morning that Britain is at a critical point in the pandemic, where cases are doubling every 7 days and have the potential to continue to rise exponentially.

Speaking alongside him, chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance said the country is facing at least six months living with this virus; and the colder seasons will do little to help control it.

It is thought that new controls may be put in place in the UK this week in an attempt to stem the second wave.

UK Government data published yesterday, Sunday, showed 3,899 new daily cases and 18 deaths. Globally, as of 10:30am CEST, 21st September, there had been 30,675,675 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 954,417 deaths, reported to WHO.

In other developments, people will be required by law to self-isolate from 28th September. New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 -- bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel -- but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating, such as business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work.

"The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus. And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

"People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines. We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives."

Separately, Singapore and Thailand were added to the England travel corridor list at 4am Saturday 19th September 2020. Guadeloupe and Slovenia were removed at the same time.

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