Britain probably reaching virus peak, says England's Chief Medical Officer

Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty arrives in Downing Street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is probably reaching the peak of its coronavirus epidemic but it is too soon to be confident of that and begin thinking about next steps, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Wednesday.

“Our view is that it is probably reaching the peak overall,” he told a news conference. However he said statistical lags meant the number of deaths may go up in the coming days.

He added: “We are not yet at the point where we can say confidently and safely ‘this is now past the peak and we can start thinking very much now about the next phases.’”

Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison