The UK's doubling coronavirus cases mean Boris Johnson can't wake up from his Covid-19 nightmare

While the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, life in Taiwan is starting to return to normal. The island's coronavirus response has been praised and studied around the world as a model to follow. CNN's Paula Hancocks visits Taipei to see what Taiwan has done right.

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 2:41 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2020 2:41 PM

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK is doubling roughly every seven days, according to the country's chief scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance. If that rate continues to grow unabated, "by mid-October you would end up with something like 50,000 per day," which "could lead to 200 deaths a day" by November, Vallance warned at a Monday press briefing.

"If we don't act, the virus will take off," Vallance's colleague Chris Whitty, the UK's chief medical officer, told the same briefing in Downing Street. "That is the path we are on and if we do not change course, we will find ourselves in a difficult problem."

The advisors' comments have fueled speculation that the government is preparing the ground for a second national lockdown, or other hard measures, in order to get cases back to a sustainable level.

"In ... the next six months, I think we have to realize that we have to take this collectively very seriously," Whitty said, adding that the country had turned a corner "in a bad sense."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement to the country later this week.

Vallance and Whitty's warnings come as the UK faces a difficult autumn. Covid cases have risen since full lockdown measures were lifted early in the summer, and on Monday Whitty warned: "The seasons are against us."

On Sunday alone, 3,899 confirmed infections and 18 deaths were reported in the UK.

The rise in cases has already led to local lockdowns and emergency measures in numerous parts of the country. Over the weekend, the government announced that people breaking quarantine and self-isolation measures in England could face fines of up to £10,000 ($12,800).

Johnson and members of his government have previously indicated that a second national lockdown would be a last-ditch scenario. Back in March, Johnson locked down the country later than many of his European counterparts. He did so reluctantly, knowing the economic damage it would cause. As a result, he was criticized for acting too late.

Johnson's government has also been criticized for not having a good enough testing regime, meaning that local and health authorities were acting blindly as they tried to protect those most vulnerable.

If cases continue to rise, these criticisms are likely to give the PM more headaches, as he weighs up the long-term costs of shutting down the economy for a second time. Stories are appearing almost daily of people having to travel many miles for a coronavirus test.

Unfortunately for Johnson, it's very likely cases will stay high.

The autumn and winter months are particularly dangerous, as colder weather encourages indoor gatherings rather than those in the open air, where transmission of the virus is less likely.

Unlike during the previous lockdown, and the summer months that followed, children are now back in school, where enormous networks of contacts can be formed, expediating the spread of the virus.

And as of this week, universities are welcoming students, meaning hundreds of thousands of young people are traveling across the country to mix in high-volume accommodation. In recent weeks, government data has shown that infections are particularly high among young adults, who are less likely to suffer the worst Covid-19 symptoms, but can still pass it on to those who are more vulnerable.

If the UK is unable to get the virus under control, Johnson could find himself in a pretty unenviable position in just a few weeks. From being the Covid-19 capital of Europe to having the worst recession of any major economy, this is a country that has already lost a year to the virus.

The public largely obeyed the government's rules the first-time round. But the fact that the UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe and the widespread criticism of the government's handling of the virus leaves a question mark over whether they'd follow Johnson's orders a second time.

If they don't, the virus will continue to spread and the PM could find himself addressing the nation in December, asking them to do something no British Prime Minister can have imagined in their worst nightmare: Cancel Christmas.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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