Another 30,000 Brits will die of Covid within next month, Government scientific advisor warns

ANOTHER 30,000 Brits will die of Covid within the next month, a leading expert has warned.

Chris Whitty has tonight told the UK to expect "a lot more deaths over the next few weeks – and one Government advisor put the figure at 30,000.

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Health chiefs confirmed today that 100,000 people have now died with coronavirus in the UK. The first UK virus death was recorded less than a year ago.

And Dr Adam Kucharshki, a Government advisor in a sub-group of Sage, has made a grim prediction about what to expect this winter – even as new cases continue to plummet during England's third national lockdown.

He told BBC's World At One programme: "First of all, we have the deaths that are unfortunately going to occur from the infections that have already happened.

"With the level of deaths currently at about 1,100 a day, if that doesn't come down substantially, we're looking at about 30,000 deaths within the next month.

"Of course, transmission is coming down and we have vaccines rolling out which are going to affect future totals, but it will take a few weeks for those to be showing up as a really clear effect."

England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Whitty refused to be drawn on how many more deaths can be expected at a Downing Street press conference tonight.

But the expert braced the UK for "quite a lot more fatalities" as Boris Johnson led tonight's address to the nation.

The PM today said he was "deeply sorry" and admitted the figure represents "an appalling and tragic loss of life"

And Prof Whitty said Brits must "keep doing our bit" – adding: "We have to be careful we are not relaxing too early. There are over 35,000 people still in hospital.

"The number of deaths, at the moment, this looks as though that has flattened out, but at a very high level.

"I think we have to be realistic that the rate of mortality, people dying every day, will come down very slowly over the next two weeks.

"We are going to see quite a lot more deaths over the next few weeks before the effects of the vaccine are going to be felt, and we have to be realistic about that."

Dr Kucharski said earlier today that most deaths during the first wave happened after the peak "because of the infections and residual transmission within communities".

And asked about the possibility of a "very high" death toll before the pandemic ends, he replied: "Unfortunately yes.

"We've really seen over these waves this pattern of 'cases go up, hospitalisations go up, deaths go up, cases go down, hospitalisations go down, deaths go down'.

"We're only recently seeing cases come down – they're coming down from a very high level, so that means even just the impact that's already there is yet to be seen."

A further 1,631 people have died in hospitals, meaning 100,162 have died in total.

But cases have drop 26 per cent week-on-week.

A further 20,089 positive tests were recorded overnight – 40 per cent fewer than last Tuesday's total.

And 22,195 more infections were reported yesterday in what was then the lowest daily increase since mid-December.

Hospitalisations have also dropped 21 per cent on last Tuesday, although more than 3,500 people are still being admitted to hospitals every day.

The Prime Minister said the tragedy "exhausts the thesaurus of misery" during his speech from Downing Street this evening.

The address came ten months after Sir Patrick Vallance said 20,000 deaths would be the "best-case scenario".

Mr Johnson said: "I'm sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000.

"It's hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic – the years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended, and for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.

"I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one."

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