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New graphs show rising coronavirus deaths in France and Spain with UK ‘a few weeks’ behind

THE UK could be just weeks behind France and Spain in a race to avoid a second national lockdown, the Transport Secretary and top Government scientists said this morning.

Both countries have seen spiralling cases counts of up to 10,000 cases a day as a second wave of coronavirus tightens its grip on Europe.

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Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance delivered an ominous warning this morning that the UK was on the same track as France and Spain.

Sir Patrick warned that the UK was on a virtually identical path as France and Spain, who have shocking infection rates of 101.9 cases per 100,000 and 157 per 100,000 respectively.

He said this morning: “We have seen increases in cases across Europe, particularly in Spain and France.

“We’ve seen increases in number of cases (in France and Spain) started with young people in their 20s and spread gradually to older people as well.

“That increase in case number has translated into an increase in hospitalisations.

“As those increase, very sadly but not unexpectedly deaths are also increasing.”

The number of people contracting the virus every day is currently double every seven days – and a devastating 50,000 people could be infected with the virus DAILY if the number of new cases isn’t slashed.

France had a devastating new case count of 10,569 cases yesterday after a massive high of 13,498 last week and more than 5,000 hospitalisations.

Spain has had almost 130,000 new cases in the past two weeks and is averaging 10,000 infections a day, and suffered a deadly 239 deaths one day last week.

Mr Shapps also warned if the nation doesn’t break the cycle of new infections, the UK is facing a future like France and Spain.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the country was at a “really critical moment” in the fight against an unstoppable tide of new infections.

Mr Shapps told LBC: “I spoke to (the CMO and CSO) over the weekend and they will set out how our path, if we don’t break it, is similar to France and Spain’s, and we’ve seen what’s happened over there, and we’re very keen to try and arrest that route here.”

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Shapps added: “It is clear we’re just a few weeks behind what we’re seeing elsewhere in Europe.

“You only have to look at what’s happening in France, particularly in Spain, and you can see that things have taken off there including, I’m afraid, deaths. So it is very important that we do everything we can to bear down on this.

“It’s absolutely vital that people do (follow restrictions) because otherwise we’re going to end up back in situations we don’t want to be in.” 

Almost 4,000 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, and the UK’s infection rate has hit 37.8 cases per 100,000.

In comparison, new cases in Sweden, who never had national lockdown measures, has plummeted to an infection rate of 16.8 per 100,000.

Mr Shapps said: “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’re at a really critical moment.

“And if we don’t make sure we’re adhering to all the various different requirements – the rule of six, self-isolation quarantine where required – then we are going to end up needing to apply stronger brakes on this.”

Spain has been thrown under tighter lockdown restrictions for areas with the worst numbers of new cases.

Partial lockdowns in 37 regions in Spain mean 850,000 people will be confined to their local area, and only able to leave those zones for work, education, legal or medical reasons.

Public and private gatherings will be limited to six people and parks will be closed.

People in Paris have borne the brunt of the new restrictions in France, with Parisians forced to where a face mask everywhere – including outdoors.

Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick are expected to say at 11am this morning that Britain is “heading in the wrong direction” as No10 warned Brits they are in the “last chance saloon” to avoid a second national lockdown or very strict restrictions.

Brits across the country could face measures banning meeting other households, curfews for pubs and restaurants, and yesterday Matt Hancock yesterday said he would “not rule out” ordering people in ­London to go back to working from home.



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