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UK govt steps up coronavirus threat level after rise in cases

AFP
London
The UK government on Monday upgraded its coronavirus alert level, as top advisers warned England could see up to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October and a surging death toll unless action is taken immediately.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty said rates of infection in England were replicating the strong resurgence seen in France and Spain, roughly doubling every seven days.
“We are seeing a rate of increase across the great majority of the country,” he said, urging the public to respect stricter guidelines on social distancing. “This is not someone else’s problem. It’s all of our problem.”
The government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre later changed its COVID-19 alert level from three to four to reflect the increase in cases.
Level three states that a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation while level four reflects that “transmission is high or rising exponentially”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tougher rules on Tuesday to try to flatten the curve going into the winter months when other respiratory infections are typically high. He called rising infection rates “a cause for great concern”.