BRITAIN'S Chief Scientific Officer has warned that the 'exponential' growth in coronavirus cases in the UK could lead to 200 deaths per day by mid November 'if unabated'.

In a TV briefing this morning, Sir Patrick Vallance warned the epidemic will double every seven days if it continues at its current rate.

To illustrate the stark situation the country is in, he said that there were 3,105 new Covid-19 cases on September 15 and if the current rate is not interrupted there will be an estimated 49,000 new cases on October 13. 

This could lead to around 200 deaths a day by mid November if no further action is taken.

He said: “This is how quickly this can move if the doubling time stays at seven days.”

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Sir Patrick added there was 'no doubt' numbers are increasing with a rise in infections in all age groups, particularly in the 20 to 29 age bracket.

He compared the UK's situation to the increase in cases in Spain and France which started with a rise in infections among young people in their 20s and spread through the age groups before a sharp increase in hospitalisations and deaths.

Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, added that there has been a 'steady, sustained rise' in infections since September.

Setting out a four-point plan, he described it as a 'six month problem we have to deal with collectively' or we will face death rates which will be similar to the peak of the crisis earlier in the year.

Professor Whitty also hit back at those who have described Covid-19 as 'no worse than flu' - stating that average deaths a year from flu stand at around 7,000 to 8,000 while since March, coronavirus deaths amount to more than 40,000, even with lockdown measures.

But he also acknowledged any tougher measures would be a balancing act to prevent an even more severe impact to the economy, jobs and mental health.

1. Reduce individual risk

Wash and sanitise your hands regularly, wear masks in enclosed spaces, social distancing

2. Isolate the virus

Anyone infected must self-isolate and anyone they have been in contact with must be tracked down and notified. Anyone travelling back to the UK from high risk areas must self-isolate.

3. Break unnecessary links between households

4. Invest in drugs, vaccines and diagnostics 

Professor Whitty said: "We should see this as a six month problem we have to deal with collectively."

Boris Johnson spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what action to take against the rise in new cases.

It is thought the Prime Minister could set out new measures in a press conference as early as Tuesday.

In a more promising update, Sir Patrick said in the televised briefing the UK has put itself in a good position for a vaccine supply.

He added: "It is possible that some vaccines could be available in small amounts later this year.

"But it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year - although that is not guaranteed."