The UK has been warned on Wednesday that a second wave of coronavirus will strike within a “few weeks” if the virus is not suppressed.
Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute medical research centre, warned that the UK has “never been free from infection.”
The Daily Mail reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, fears the UK will see a resurgence of the virus “within two weeks,” as the weekly average cases have risen by 28% from three weeks ago.
Johnson warned, “I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.” This could prompt a second lockdown in parts or all of the UK.
The Prime Minister’s warning comes as more than 600,000 British holidaymakers are currently in Spain which is showing “signs of a second wave,” he announced on Tuesday.
Professor Naismith said, “We all need to be clear what we mean when we discuss ‘second wave’.
“The UK has never been free from infection, we have had 100s of cases per day every day since March. However, the number of cases measured today are not comparable to those in detected March.”
The director of the medical research centre added that testing in the UK is now far better than it was in March.
He warned, “We and other countries are detecting young people with Covid-19, in February we never noticed them.
“It seems likely that the virus spreads in this group first but with few symptoms and little illness.
“We know the virus will spread in time from young to old or more vulnerable [people] where we will see hospitalisation, severe illness and death. This will happen in a few weeks if we don’t keep the virus suppressed.”
Prof Naismith suggested that financial support will be required with free hotel stays for self-isolation, which will be the most effective way of tackling the outbreak for those trvelling back to the UK.
He said that young people will endure “disproportionately heavy financial and life sacrifices” in quarantining, and help must be made available.
He further warned, “What I fear is that if we fail to check this flare up, we will head into the winter months with a high level of circulating virus.
“With the normal winter illnesses [coughs, colds, flu] and greater indoor living, we could then see a return to exponential growth in Covid-19 cases that overwhelms the NHS and requires complete lockdown.
“This is what I term a second wave. Many scientists have consistently emphasised that we have only short time to get our systems ready to prevent this.”
Prof Naismith added, “There seems to be this persistent belief that summer is not a problem.
“Summer is a problem. This virus likes all weathers, but what it particularly likes is jumping from one person to another when we come in close contact.
“So let’s not give it that opportunity. The second wave idea, we are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave.”