MORE than 100 people are being infected with coronavirus everyday in Basildon .

The startling figure was revealed by Basildon Council boss Gavin Callaghan as he backed new rules set to come into force across Essex from Saturday.

But Labour boss Mr Callaghan didn’t stop there, echoing calls from his national leader for a so-called circuit breaker, perhaps on a week-on-week-off basis.

He said: “My view is that we should listen to the science and we have had briefings from the county council director of health.

“In Basildon we were at two cases per 100,000 in August and it’s now at 75 per 100,000 from yesterday and this is increased from Thursday when it was 67.88 per 100,000.

“I would urge people to take it seriously if they’re not yet. This rate means 150 people per day are being affected by this virus.

“As it is now spreading at a considerable rate, we need to focus on a few things now.

“Firstly, can we live with the virus and restrictions? I think the vast majority of people are living with it comfortably and are doing the right thing, with mask wearing and other measures.

“We are doing well with our economy too and making it work for us in Basildon.

“Next, is can and will the NHS service cope? And I feel it has been able to cope so far but it’s getting to a point where it only may be able to cope.”

His concerns come after the Echo revealed at least 30 patients in Basildon Hospital are now being treated for Covid-19.

Mr Callaghan added: “I think what we are doing with the new Essex tier, while controversial, is moving quick to save more lives.

“I do not think this is the best option however, I agree with the circuit breaker way and believe it would help the NHS.

“We should have a few weeks on and off with lockdowns and I think it would help business too and ensure the spread is controlled until we have a vaccine or other medicines.

“When we compare the figures in Basildon to the national situation it is not that bad but we’ve still got to 75 cases per 100,000.”

This comes as Basildon is set to become a Covid hotspot, according to an interactive map.

The tool, created by experts at Imperial College London, shows the town is the only area in south Essex currently categorised as a hotspot, and it will remain that way until October 25.