England’s former public health regional director John Ashton said on Friday that the UK is on course for recording over 100,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of January, and urged people to hold the government to account for its response to the pandemic.
“We´re now approaching a thousand deaths a day - six or seven thousand a week – and you don´t need a GCSE maths to realize that we will be over 100,000 by the end of January unless something miraculously and dramatic happens,” Ashton said in a video posted on the Double Down News website.
The British doctor and academic, who headed Public Health for North West England for 13 years, said people should take the skyrocketing number of coronavirus cases being reported in the UK over the last few weeks “as a wake-up call.”
“We´ve got to make the government do the right things in the right order and at the right pace. We need to do that. That´s our responsibility to hold them to account,” he said.
Ashton also questioned UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership qualities, claiming that he has shown a lack of coherence and a narrow vision in his response to the pandemic.
“One minute he puts the public health in opposition to the economy and the next minute he´s slaughtering the economy because of the failure to get on top of the public health issues,” he said.
Using a sports phrase, the former public health official said that Johnson’s “is a second or third division government, not a Premier League government.”
On Thursday, the UK registered over 52,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,162 related deaths, the highest increase since April. Overall, the country has confirmed over 2.8 million COVID-19 cases and more than 78,000 deaths.