Sir David King says country is facing 'another 27,000 deaths' by next April

6 July 2020, 11:04

Sir David King warned of 27,000 further deaths
Sir David King warned of 27,000 further deaths. Picture: Sky

A former chief government scientific adviser says the UK could be facing another 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths by next April if things stay the same.

Sir David King has said it is "absolutely unacceptable" to allow more people to die from COVID-19 when their deaths are "almost entirely preventable".

He said the daily infection rate of around 3,000 cases is what will make up the additional 27,000 deaths - and this is before the economy has fully reopened.

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"If we want to return to full economic growth as quickly as possible, get rid of the COVID virus," he said.

His Independent SAGE group is now encouraging Britons to demand the government to focus on ridding the country of coronavirus altogether, rather than "bumping along" with a daily case rate in the thousands.

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Professor Sir David King on the reopening of pubs

Speaking to LBC Matt Frei as pubs and restaurants reopened on Saturday, Sir King said herd immunity "may well still be the policy and they're just not telling us".

He added: "We should have stayed in lockdown for a few more weeks and we would have got ourselves into a much better position."

Reopening hospitality venues, he said, was a "a very risky situation".

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It comes after another 22 people died with COVID-19 on Saturday - the lowest number since the beginning of lockdown.

A total of 44,220 have now died with the illness in hospitals in the UK, with the total number of deaths believed to have surpassed 55,000.

There were a further 516 positive results recorded on Sunday - although this number is always lower on the weekend due to counting delays.