British experts warn of major virus outbreak

The British government’s top medical advisers warned on Monday that the country has passed a tipping point “in a very bad way” when it comes to rates of the new coronavirus. The new figures, they noted, indicate that there could be an exponential increase in cases if no action is taken.

Medical director Chris Whitty told the public Monday that the rate is going “in the opposite direction” to what is desired. The government was expected to announce new measures to control the pandemic.

“We have passed a tipping point in a very bad way” after weeks of rising infections, he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with several ministers over the weekend to address the recent case boom, which has pushed infection rates to levels not seen since May. The government was expected to announce this week a series of short-term “short-circuit” restrictions to curb the virus.

Lawmakers from different parties have criticized the government’s diagnostic testing plan. Although the ministers say they are breaking records of tests carried out, there are widespread reports of people who have had to travel hundreds of miles to get the test, and of no tests because laboratories took too long to process the samples.

An effective testing system is seen as crucial to controlling the pandemic, allowing authorities to track infections and inform people to self-quarantine.

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