Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) special envoy for the global COVID-19 response and chair of global health at Imperial College London, warned that a second wave of coronavirus “is coming” for the UK.
Speaking to Sky News Dr Nabarro gave a grim warning, he said, “I’m afraid it’s coming.
“I don’t like calling it a second wave, I just say there are going to be more spikes and surges of cases.
“Because the virus hasn’t changed. It’s the same virus that came and caused so much trouble earlier this year.
“It’s just been lurking. We’ve been very good at holding it back.
“But now as life gets going again, as young people go to university and there’s some movement around with holidays and work, I’m afraid it does mean the virus is going to come back.”
Director of health for Public Health England Dr Yvonne Doyle also warned that death rates could rise if coronavirus gets out of control.
Dr Doyle said that it is “very fortunate” that currently coronavirus deaths are “low,” but “not necessarily what will occur” if the infections continue to rise further.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer further warned that coronavirus cases are rising.
Professor Whitty tweeted, “We have, through the extraordinary efforts of the whole population, got Covid rates right down.
“They are now rising again especially in those aged 17 to 29.
“If we stop social distancing Covid comes back. We all need to protect others.”
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.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “We have just started to see the first credible cases of reinfection and through genomic analysis you can see it’s a different disease from the one the person got the first time round.
“But in all the cases that I have seen, it has been an asymptomatic second infection that’s been picked up through asymptomatic testing.
“But the hard question is, because one of the most difficult parts of dealing with this virus is asymptomatic transmission, what we don’t yet know is the transmissibility of the disease even from an asymptomatic person who might have had the disease before.
“We’ve got a huge amount of work going on into answering that question.”