Coronavirus cases less than half of Government's doomsday graph warning of 50,000 infections a day by mid-October

CORONAVIRUS cases are less than half of the Government’s ‘doomsday graph’ which warned of 50,000 infections a day by mid-October.

The terrifying model, presented by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, showed case numbers doubling every week and deaths growing past 200 a day.

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Addressing a rise in cases at a government press conference on September 22, Vallance said: “If – and that's quite a big if – but if that [rising cases] continues unabated, and this grows, doubling every seven days, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day.”

But the latest Public Health England figures show that the pandemic has not accelerated in the catastrophic way predicted by the graph – despite a significant rise in cases across the country.

According to the graph, the UK would have recorded over 40,000 cases today – though the country actually recorded 12,872 infections in the past 24 hours.

The model also suggests the UK would, at this stage, see three times as many fatalities as the 65 deaths reported earlier today in a worst-case scenario.

In order to reach the model's projected 50,000 cases by October 13, infections would need to increase by 37,128 in the next 48 hours.


Professor Karl Sikora, a former director at the World Health Organisation, said the government’s graph was “implausible” and had damaged public trust during the pandemic. 

He told the Telegraph: “If you try to scare people with worst case scenarios, it doesn't work.

“Instead, they just think the whole thing is silly and they lose trust in everything else you say.”

He added: “I can't see any value in that graph at all. 

“The more you test, the more cases you find – and of course testing has been prioritised towards areas with higher infection rates.”

It later emerged that the graph was put together based on studies of a few hundred cases instead of large-scale testing data. 

Tory MP Desmond Swayne said the graph was “project fear”, and represented “an attempt to terrify the British people”.

However, Sir Patrick Vallance defended the graph last month and insisted it was merely “a prediction” – and was necessary to “point out” that epidemics either “double or halve”. 

He added: “So things move quickly, and when things double you see that exponential growth, which means you end up with very high numbers and it means you have to act quickly in order to deal with that.”

Sir Patrick has previously suggested that up to 100,000 Brits may have been infected every day at the peak of the pandemic in March and April.

He said: "It's much more likely that back in March and April, at the peak of this, we were seeing over 100,000 cases a day at certain times."

However, this huge rise in cases came before the introduction of lockdown restrictions and widespread testing – with the virus allowed to spread virtually unchecked. 

It comes as the government is set to introduce a new ‘three-tier’ lockdown system tomorrow to curb a rise in cases. 

As part of the streamlined system, hard-hit cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham could see hospitality venues close and a ban on overnight stays outside the home.

The West Midlands and the North of England have seen a surge in infections in the past month, despite large areas being placed into local lockdown.

A recent study undertaken by Imperial College London scientists found that Northerners are now twice as likely to have coronavirus – with around one in 100 currently infected with the bug.

The study found that the ‘R’ rate has fallen to 1.16 nationally, but remains between 1.27 and 1.37 in Yorkshire, the West Mids and the North West.  

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