Covid: Tougher restrictions are now inevitable as UK daily cases reach record high

Two people warned about the devastating effects of coronavirus and have called for tougher restrictions.

They weren't scientists and they weren't politicians but they have both been deeply affected by the virus which has in different ways changed their lives.

Georgina Wills' dad died from the disease on Friday. I had met him while he was being cared for at Bournemouth hospital.

He was sitting up, was on oxygen but told me he was feeling better and the nurses were pleased with his progression.

ITV News' Health Editor Emily Morgan says it's likely tougher restrictions will be implemented as a result of the rising cases and the spreading strain

I distinctly remember speaking to him because he wanted to get a message out there that the virus is dangerous and has left him in a bad way.

We were on the verge of coming out of the November lockdown and he said he didn't think people were taking it seriously, he had only popped out to the shops once since his wife had broken her ankle.

It was to be a fateful trip.

Dean was 62 and had many underlying health issues.

On the day England ended its lockdown Dean's health deteriorated and he had to go on a ventilator, he died 16 days later.

His daughter and wife told us one of the last things he said was that he wanted people to know how horrific Covid is.

They spoke on Tuesday in the hope it might deter people from doing silly things or mix socially over Christmas.

I can say having met Dean he would be proud; it was precisely what he had said to me and his family fulfilled one of his last wishes tonight.

The other person I spoke to today was Dr Megan Smith, a London-based Consultant and EveryDoctor spokesperson.

She is convinced London hospitals are only weeks away from seeing peak levels number of patients and is concerned the new strain is being allowed to replicate across the country, for those reasons she thinks the only option is some sort of lockdown straight after Christmas to get the case numbers under control again.

Dr Smith spoke of the anxiety, the fear and despair being felt amongst all her colleagues.

She said: "I think it will put us under the extraordinary pressure that we were in back in March and April."

"The numbers seem to be heading in that direction."

When I asked whether we should be moving everyone into a national lockdown or at least into Tier 4, she said: "I think it's essential that we get on top of that and I think that probably the only way to do that is with a full properly observed lockdown.

"And I know that will be deeply unpopular but from the perspective of a healthcare professional and someone working in the NHS - I want my patients to be safe. I want vulnerable people to be safe. And also I want the NHS to be able to cope."

All London hospitals have now cancelled planned operations and elective surgery, she fears if things get worse cancer care too will have to be outsourced or postponed.

None of this is good.

On the day when cases reached a record high at around 36,000 today and 691 deaths were recorded.

We went into November's lockdown with 23,000 cases a day and no sign of a new quick spreading strain of the virus.

We now have that and record cases, sadly I think tougher restrictions are now inevitable.