The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser has given a bleak assessment of the current COVID-19 situation in the UK, as daily figures revealed 7,108 new cases and 71 deaths. ‘Things are definitely heading in the wrong direction,’ said Sir Patrick Vallance at a news conference on Wednesday evening. ‘We don’t have this under control at the moment.’
Sir Patrick was speaking in a week which has seen the Government introduce new social distancing measures, including a 10pm closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants, and a limit of 15 guests at weddings, much to the ire of some of its own backbench MPs. Speaking alongside Sir Patrick, and the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the UK was at ‘a critical moment’, and it was ‘still too early to tell’ whether these measures would work.
Earlier at Prime Ministers Questions, Mr Johnson was slammed by Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer for his confused response when asked about local lockdown rules in the north east. ‘Having sat opposite the prime minister at PMQs every week, that didn’t come as a surprise to me,’ said Sir Keir.’But If the Prime Minister doesn't understand the rules, how does he expect the rest of the country to understand and follow them?’