Dr Hilary warns ‘cat out bag’ with Covid cases as he predicts lockdown to be extended

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ITV’s Dr Hilary Jones has warned the national lockdown could be extended as he noted the restrictions were “inevitable” with the number of rising cases. It comes amid confusion over whether the measures could be extended beyond December 2, after Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove admitted they may need to be in place for longer. Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary said: “It could be worse than the worst-case scenario they predicted just a couple of weeks ago.

“The stats are worrying. A lot of people take issue with statistics, they say the data is so wide-ranging, we can’t believe anything we’re told.

“But what you can’t argue with is the number of hospitalisations that are increasing rapidly and the accelerating increase in the number of cases across the country on the ONS survey.

“These are figures that have alarmed the scientists sufficiently for them to say, ‘we need a lockdown and we need it now’.

“Just as they’ve had in Belgium and France and Germany where they tend to believe their scientists and their medical advisors perhaps more than we do.

“I think it was inevitable that we were going into a lockdown. A lot of people said we should have done it earlier.

“Once the cat is out of the bag and you’ve got so many cases in the public it’s very difficult to get that under control and recover from that.

“But a lockdown is needed. It is likely, I think, to be extended.

“Nobody can promise when it will end because we just don’t know how the virus is going to behave and how the population behaves and whether people abide by the restrictions being imposed.”

It comes as Boris Johnson will warn coronavirus deaths over the winter could be twice as high as during the first wave of the pandemic when he outlines plans for a second national lockdown to MPs.

The Prime Minister is set to use a statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon to say there is “no alternative” but to impose four weeks of stringent restrictions across England to control rising cases.

Mr Johnson will instead tell MPs the Government will “seek to ease” restrictions and return to the tiered system on December 2.

A Number 10 source insisted the measures would be “time-limited” for four weeks.

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The Prime Minister was forced to announce the lockdown – which comes into effect on Thursday – at a hastily arranged press conference in Downing Street over the weekend after details were leaked to newspapers.

The measures will see pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail closed for four weeks, but schools, colleges and nurseries will remain open.

People will also be allowed to exercise and socialise in outdoor public spaces with their household or one other person.

The Prime Minister will seek to face down growing backbench unrest over the new restrictions when he tells the Commons there is no option but to impose them.

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