MORE than 85,000 people could die in the second wave of coronavirus, a doom-laden paper from the Government’s Sage group has warned.
The group of experts, chaired by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, have painted a bleak picture of the scale of deaths Britain is facing saying it could exceed their “reasonable worst case scenario”.
Minutes from a meeting on October 8 revealed the horrifying death toll would be worse than the scientists expected over the two weeks to last Friday.
They said: “In England the number of infections and hospital admissions is exceeding the reasonable worst case scenario planning levels at this time.
“Projects also indicate the number of deaths is highly likely to exceed worst case planning levels within the next two weeks.”
They said “well above” their estimates of 100 people were dying a day.
And they said even if drastic new restrictions were put in immediately the number of deaths would not be able to be stopped.
It follows on from a miserable prediction of the scale of the outbreak that warned there could be 85,000 deaths – reaching up to 800 a day.
The projections of the winter wave of coronavirus warned the number of new daily infections would top 100,000 by Valentine’s day.
The latest meetings suggest the overall numbers could get even worse if Britain continues on the same path.
The scientists said it was possible deaths might only exceed their worst expectations for a “modest and short-lived” period of time, but only if infections fell in the “very near future”.
And they warned it could get worse, saying: “But if R remains above 1 then the epidemic will further diverge from the planning scenario.”
That could mean there are even more than the worst case scenario of 85,000 deaths.
The documents revealed today focus only on two weeks of data – and warn “beyond two weeks projections become more uncertain”.
And the scientists are said to be pushing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do a U-turn again and implement a national lockdown to save Christmas.
Both Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick have warned the toughest Tier 3 restrictions are “not enough”.
And today Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned the UK could wind up in a French-style national lockdown if the three-tired system doesn’t work.
More than 11 million Brits are already living under Tier 3 rules.
Fresh stats from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of daily cases has jumped by 50 per cent in just a week, with 568,000 infected in seven days.
And crucially cases of the virus have grown in all age groups, meaning it could spread to the elderly and most vulnerable.
Combined estimated from six separate models showed there could be between 43,000 and 74,000 new infections every day in England.
On the massive scale of daily cases, Sage said: “This is significantly above the profile of the reasonable worst-case scenario, where the number of daily infections in England remained between 12,000 – 13,000 throughout October.”