England’s chief medical officer has warned that people should expect an “exceptionally difficult” winter, as the UK’s daily coronavirus cases reached their highest level since July.
Professor Chris Whitty told delegates at the annual conference of the Royal College of GPs in Liverpool that the NHS faces tough months ahead as it battles COVID-19, flu, other viruses and the usual winter problems such as trips and falls.
The UK recorded a further 45,066 coronavirus cases on Thursday – a rise of 11% on the 40,701 cases recorded the previous week and the highest daily figure since 20 July.
The increase looks to be fuelled by cases among school-aged children and teenagers which are at their highest level since autumn 2020, new data shows.
Professor Whitty said: “In terms of where COVID will go over the winter, well I think the winter as a whole, I regret to say, is going to be exceptionally difficult for the NHS.