Good Morning Britain medical expert Dr Amir Khan has warned that coronavirus cases could peak in the UK in as little as four to six weeks.
Appearing on GMB on Thursday, the doctor, who is standing in for Dr Hilary Jones on the show, had been discussing the latest pandemic news with hosts Kate Garraway and Charlotte Hawkins.
As restrictions tighten across the US, with areas in the North East, including Greater Manchester, being moved into tier-three – the highest level of lockdown – on Friday, Dr Khan stressed the importance of people abiding by the rules.
Tier-three places an area at very high risk and enforces a ban on different households mixing, weddings are prohibited and travel in and out of affected areas is discouraged.
Pubs and bars in areas under the strictest lockdown can only serve alcohol along with a ‘substantial meal’.
As coronavirus cases continue to increase across the country, Dr Khan was asked if things are set to worse before they get better, and he replied: ‘There is a lag with the number of cases that are reported and then what happens in hospital and then sadly deaths.
‘There are reports that scientists have said that the North East and North West numbers if things aren’t done even more than tier three and things aren’t put in place, that numbers may go up and we could see a peak within four to six weeks here and then other parts of the country around Christmas and New Year.’
However, Dr Khan assured those watching that NHS staff are now in a better position to deal with coronavirus as they now know more about the infection than before.
‘It’s always worth reiterating messages around social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing… we do have treatment options in hospitals when people get sick,’ Dr Khan said.
‘Steroids are being used and we know they work, we didn’t know that at the start. We do know more about treatment available and the virus than before.’
Dr Khan was also quizzed on the lockdown tier system brought in by the government, as the police officer in charge of the response to the pandemic has recently come forward and said he ‘doesn’t understand’ the rules himself.
Touching on the confusion that the different restrictions in different areas bring, Dr Khan admitted it can be ‘difficult’ to comprehend.
‘I get calls almost every day from family and friends saying, “Can I do this?” They’ve tried to make it easier with the tier system, but I’m not sure it works,’ he claimed.
‘People constantly have to look it up, it’s difficult… even I have to look it up sometimes.’
There are currently over 780,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with the number of deaths now surpassing 44,000.
Reports have claimed that there is the possibility of a lockdown circuit breaker, that would see the country go into another national lockdown for up to three weeks, being brought into place to tackle the spread of the virus.
Not everyone is for the proposed circuit breaker, however, with GMB host Kate clashing with a restaurant owner earlier this week, as he opposed the plans.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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