CORONAVIRUS deaths are set to be almost double what they were in the first wave, according to concerned scientists.

And the virus is now raging ahead of their 'reasonable worst-case scenario'.

Professor John Edmunds confirmed that the situation in the country is worse than the reasonable worst-case scenario produced by Sage.

He told Today: “We’ve been significantly above that reasonable worst-case scenario for some time actually.”

Prof Edmunds said it was “possible” that there would be 85,000 coronavirus deaths this winter – more than there were in the first wave.

“It is really unthinkable now, unfortunately, that we don’t count our deaths in tens of thousands from this wave.

“The issue is, is that going to be low tens of thousands if we take radical action now or is that going to be the high tens of thousands if we don’t?”

Asked if measures would have to be more severe than a “circuit-breaker” proposed last month, Prof Edmunds said: “Decisions are horrible – they are very difficult – but putting them off doesn’t make them any easier, in fact it makes them more difficult.

Labour’s shadow business minister Lucy Powell said: “We have been calling for a circuit-breaker for a number of weeks.”

She said the Government was presented with scientific documents back in September to say that the most effective strategy at that point would be a two to three-week circuit-breaker.

Ms Powell told BBC Breakfast that more of the economy could have been saved and there could have been reduced impacts with “a shorter, earlier circuit-breaker that coincided with the half-term”.

She told the programme: “Now we are looking at an even longer circuit-breaker at a very critical time of year.

“I am really worried about the impact of this at this point in time for a longer period of time than was necessary on retail and hospitality.”

“And so if we are going to put the brakes on the epidemic now, then unfortunately we’re going to have to put the brakes on harder and longer to bring the cases down to what might be an acceptable level.”