Peak of new Covid variant infection ‘passed’ in some parts but death toll spike ‘still to come,’ says Whitty

The new variant of coronavirus has had its peak of infection in some parts of England, Chris Whitty has said – though he warned the number of deaths is likely to increase yet.

The UK’s chief medical officer spoke at a Downing Street press conference on Friday, where he said areas that had seen “a really big sure of the new variant” had “we hope” seen the variant’s peak of infection “already”.

“We expect that the peak of infection has already happened in some parts of the country, particularly the south east, east and London,” Mr Whitty said, before reminding the public there were still some bleak statistics to come.

He said the parts of England – such as the northwest, northeast and the Midlands – that “went into lockdown later will see their peak of infection later”.

For all areas, Mr Whitty said, it is the case that the peak of hospitalisation and deaths will “occur later” due to the gap between people “first getting infected” and “getting ill enough to go to hospital”.

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