Health Secretary Sajid Javid said case numbers could rocket in the coming weeks (Image: PA)
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The UK could see 100,000 Covid cases a day by the summer, new Health Secretary Sajid Javid said today.
It comes after Boris Johnson last night announced the lifting of Covid restrictions will go ahead in two weeks' time.
This morning Mr Javid, who replaced disgraced Matt Hancock just over a week ago, said that the link between cases and deaths and hospitalisations are being "severely weakened".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “By the time we get to [July] 19 we would expect case numbers by then to be at least double what they are now, so around 50,000 new cases a day.
“As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly and they could go as high as 100,000 case numbers.
“We want to be very straightforward about this in terms of what we can expect from case numbers.
Mr Javid said the link between cases and deaths appears to be weakened
(Image: Getty Images)
“But what matters more than anything is hospitalisation and death numbers and that is where the link is being severely weakened.”
Surging cases of coronavirus pose a 'significant risk' meaning restrictions would have to make a return, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies [SAGE] has said.
The PM and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty admitted lifting restrictions would likely lead to an increase in cases and deaths.
In a downbeat assessment SAGE said if a 'variant of concern' was to arrive threatening immunity lockdown would need to return and for longer.
It could mean that the relaxation of Covid restrictions could have to be re-imposed just weeks after they are lifted, with fresh lockdowns by the autumn and into the winter.
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Sage said in a report: "Stronger measures may be desirable for autumn and winter."
The scientists say another wave would be expected to occur even if the assumed baseline measures reduce transmission by 25 per cent, but that it would be much higher without these.
New cases are currently soaring and are at their highest level since January, and the numbers are believed to be poised to reach 50,000 a day within two weeks.
Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said cases are doubling every nine days, while hospitalisations are "rising quite steeply in some places and we would expect that to continue".
"It's a weakened link, not a completely broken link," he said.