Home Business News Experts ‘concerned’ as UK cases are now ‘increasing exponentially’

Experts ‘concerned’ as UK cases are now ‘increasing exponentially’

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
8th Sep 20 8:08 am

Two British government scientific advisors have given blunt warnings that coronavirus cases are “increasing exponentially,” which is of a “great concern.”

England’s deputy chief medical advisor, Professor Jonathan Van Tam said that people have “relaxed too much” and they must take coronavirus seriously.

Professor John Edmunds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and who is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned that coronavirus has now risen “above one.”

The R number rates the ability that coronavirus can spread, which is now above 1, therefore the UK is now in a “risky period,” Professor Edmunds told ITV’s Robert Peston.

He warned, “We can see the epidemic is taking off again. So, I don’t think we’ve hit that sweet spot where we’ve been able to control the epidemic and allow the economy to return to some sort of normality.”

He added, that coronavirus cases were rising from a “relatively low level,” but they are “increasing now exponentially.”

Professor Van Tam said on Monday that there has been a “big change” over infections across the UK which is now of a “great concern.”

He said, “People have relaxed too much. Now is the time for us to re-engage, and to realise that this a continuing threat to us.”

Professor Van Tam warned that the UK risks following the trajectory of some EU countries and that cases are most prominent in those aged between 17 and 21-years-old.

He also warned that the UK is in for a “bumby ride over the next few months” if people do not stick with social distancing.

He said, “Where case numbers rise initially in the younger parts of the population they do in turn filter through and start to give elevated rates of disease and hospital admissions in the older age groups, and we know that then becomes a serious public health problem.

“The fact that 17 to 21-year-olds are not becoming ill means they are lucky, but they also forget because the disease is not severe for them that they are potent spreaders.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned on Monday that they UK could see a second spike on coronavirus cases if young people continue to fail to follow social distancing.

Last week a third of all cases were people aged between 20 and 29-years old in England. On Sunday Hancock said he was “concerned” as the government announced 2,988 coronavirus cases, which is the highest figure since 23 May, when 2,959 cases were recorded.

Hancock also admitted that he has “concerns” as students are starting back at university this month, which fall into the 20 to 29-years old age bracket.

The Health Secretary said, “The numbers have been going up. And we’ve seen in other countries where this leads, and it is not a good place.”

Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat Hancock pointed to France and Spain, “where that second wave started largely amongst younger people, it then spreads.

“And now we’re seeing a sharp rise in the number of people in hospital and the number of people who are dying in those countries.

“That hasn’t happened here yet. And if people follow the social distancing rules, then we can stop that from happening here.”

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