Government Covid-19 ad campaign tells public to 'act like you've got it'

8 January 2021, 23:04 | Updated: 9 January 2021, 09:24

By Maddie Goodfellow

A new TV advert fronted by Professor Chris Whitty is urging everyone in England to stay at home, saying everyone should "act like you've got Covid-19".

The chief medical officer is the face of the ad which is part of a campaign encouraging the public to control the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking in the advert, Prof Whitty says: "Covid-19, especially the new variant, is spreading quickly across the country.

"This puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on our NHS.

"Once more, we must all stay home. If it's essential to go out, remember: wash your hands, cover your face indoors and keep your distance from others.

"Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."

The campaign also urges people to "act like you've got it" adding that "anyone can spread it".

Read more: Covid fines reviewed after two women 'surrounded' by 'bonkers' police

Read more: Most Covid patients have at least one symptom six months later - study

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pleaded with the public to comply with the "stay at home" message.

He said: "Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate.

"The vaccine has given us renewed hope in our fight against the virus but we must not be complacent.

"The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can.

"I know the last year has taken its toll - but your compliance is now more vital than ever.

"So once again, I must urge everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."

Watch: Harrowing call sets out NHS crisis in London through eyes of one LBC caller

Watch: Paramedic tells LBC Covid patients are refusing masks in ambulances

It comes after another 1,325 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 died in the UK - the highest daily figure yet - taking the total death toll to 79,833.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,957,472.The 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus is the highest figure reported by the Government in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, although daily cases may have been higher in April 2020 when mass testing was not taking place.

The figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 95,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

It was also confirmed today that the coronavirus R number in the UK could now be as high as 1.4, according to the Government’s scientific advisers.

On Friday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" in the capital due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 that is threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, the mayor listed the stark and troubling problems facing the city as its coronavirus outbreak spirals "out of control".

In some parts of the capital, Covid-19 infection rates are so high that one in 20 people have the virus, while London's average rate is one in 30, Mr Khan said.

The mayor revealed that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) is now receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 more calls every day than it would on a normal busy day.

He also confirmed the city's Nightingale hospital will be opened in the "coming days", but he said it will not be used for Covid patients.

Mr Khan told LBC: “Across London, we face a situation where this virus is out of control and we're at real risk over the next few days and weeks of the NHS hospitals running out of beds if the virus continues to increase and people continue to need to be hospitalised."