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UK in early stages of third Covid wave, warns government adviser

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

31 May 2021

Scientist have notified the government that a third wave of coronavirus may have already begun in Britain, potentially compromising plans in England to lift all lockdown restrictions in three weeks’ time.

Concern over the spread of the Indian variant of the coronavirus threatens to spoil Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap following an uptick in the northwest of England, parts of the Midlands and in London during May.

Any meaningful rise in coronavirus hospital admissions could leave the NHS struggling to cope as it battles to clear the huge backlog in non-Covid cases.

“We have to look at the data and we will share that with the country. It would be completely wrong for me to now speculate. There are many people watching your programme, in jobs and businesses, who want to basically follow the exact direction the government is giving them whilst taking personal responsibility,” Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi to the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

He added: “At the moment, we don’t have enough data. There are some parts of the country where there’s literally no B.1.617.2 and everything is pretty stable; in other parts of the country it is beginning to overtake the B.1.1.7 variant – the Kent variant.”

Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he believed the third wave had begun.

“We can already see that the current measures are not stopping cases rising rapidly in many parts of the country. This looks very much as if we are now early in a third wave,” he said. “Unless there is a miracle, opening up further in June is a huge risk. The rise in cases we are seeing now should cause a reassessment of the most recent relaxation.”

It seems people are determined to enjoy some of the freedoms they currently do have with masses from across the UK headed to the beach as the sun beamed down for the third consecutive day with today, May 31st being the hottest day of the year so far.

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