Swine flu can no longer be contained in England, health secretary Andy Burnham has revealed.
In a statement to the House of Commons, and later to the media, Mr Burnham warned that by the end of August, there could be up to 100,000 cases per day.
He told MPs: ‘Cases are doubling every week and on this trend, we could see over 100,000 cases per day by the end of August – though I stress this is only a projection.’
GPs and primary care trusts will now lead the fight against swine flu, with GPs providing diagnosis and PCTs establishing antiviral collection points.
Mr Burnhan added: ‘This will mean that in England the Health Protection Agency will take a step back and primary care will take the lead in diagnosing and distributing antivirals.
‘There will be an immediate end to contact tracing and prophylaxis in all regions; GPs will now provide clinical diagnosis of swine flu cases rather than awaiting laboratory test results; and PCTs will now begin to establish antiviral collection points where necessary.’
There have been 7,000 confirmed swine flu cases in the UK since the first incidence in April.
The announcement comes on the same day that drug company Novartis announced that it had prodcuced the first swine flu vaccine.