“We are now at the worst point of the epidemic in the UK,” warned Professor Chris Witty this morning during a flurry of media appearances designed to hammer home the severity of the coronavirus situation to the public.

England’s Chief Medical Officer said that hospital staff-to-patient ratios could deteriorate to unacceptable levels unless the virus is brought under control and that the pandemic was “everybody’s problem.” The Prime Minister also painted a grim picture, saying that the NHS is in a “perilous situation”.

The latest warnings come as seven mass vaccination centres open their doors today. The sites, in Bristol, Epsom, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Stevenage will be open 12 hours a day. Boris Johnson has promised a further 50 regional vaccine sites by the end of the month. Hundreds more GP-led and hospital services will also begin operating later this week.