The UK has recorded a 74% rise in cases within a week, which is the highest level since February as the Indian variant is ripping through the country.
The UK recorded 7,540 new cases within 24 hours which is the highest leve lof infections since 27 February when there was 7,566 cases and in the last week there has been 66 deaths.
Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, who was instrumental in advising Boris Johnson to place England in to its first lockdown last year has warned the UK is at risk of a “substantial third wave.”
Professor Fergusson warned, the work by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) is basically “saying there is a risk of a substantial third wave, we cannot be definitive about the scale of that, it could be substantially lower than the second wave, or it could be of the same order of magnitude.
“That, critically, depends on how effective the vaccines still are protecting people against hospitalisation and death against the Delta variant, as well as a few other unknowns.”
He also warned that the doubling time of the Indian variant [Delta] in the UK is just under a week, while the R rate, or reproduction number estimate is now between 1.5 and 1.6.
He said, “The key issue is how long will it keep on doubling because we are starting at a very low level and we have a lot of immunity in the population from vaccination and from people being infected in the past.”
Professor Ferguson was asked if Boris Johnson was to delay fully unlocking England on 21 June, would this make a difference?
He said, “Yes, because it allows more people to get a second dose” of the vaccine, which provides a higher efficacy against the Indian variant than having just the first jab.
He further warned that a third wave “will translate, by definition, into some number of hospitalisations and deaths.”
Professor Ferguson added, that it is “harder to pin down quite how significant the latter will be at the current time.”