UK: signs of early third wave of Covid-19 emerge

A scientist advising the British government on coronavirus says there are signs of a third wave of Covid-19. He insists on lifting the lifting of restrictions.

According to BBC News, Professor Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge admits that while the number of new cases of covid is “relatively low”, the Indian strain has stimulated “exponential growth”, indicating the beginning of a third wave.

He recommends that the government postpone the June 21 lifting of Covid restrictions. George Eustis, the minister of the environment, has already said the government does not rule out postponing the planned easing of isolation. However, business leaders warn of the harmful consequences of such a step, changes to already announced measures could lead to disastrous consequences.

Concerns and debate have sparked daily reports from the Ministry of Health. For the sixth day in a row, more than 3 thousand new cases have been recorded, the last time such indicators were observed until April 12. For 28 days, no deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland, Wales and England, and only one patient with coronavirus died in Scotland. Such indicators allowed the government to gradually withdraw from quarantine measures, gradually lifting restrictions. But on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Ravi Gupta said the third wave was in its early stages, with 3/4 of the new cases identified being Indian. The scientist said:

Of course, the number of cases is relatively small at the moment – all waves start with a small number of cases that murmur in the background and then become explosive, so the main thing is that we see signs of an early wave here.

However, Gupta notes that, most likely, the third wave will not develop as rapidly as the previous ones, due to the high level of vaccination of the population of the country: “For a while, there may be a false sense of security, and this is our concern.” However, he insists that the June lifting of restrictions should be postponed “for several weeks until we collect more information.”

A similar opinion is held by the chairman of the board of the British Medical Association, Dr. Chaand Nagpole, urging ministers to “act with the utmost caution when considering lifting the restrictions on June 21:

Prematurely ending all legal constraints, which would then lead to a spike in infections, would undermine our health service’s efforts to tackle the greatest care gap it has ever faced. It would also add additional demands on staff who are both mentally and physically exhausted.

Business representatives have a different opinion. UK Hospitality chief executive Keith Nicholls believes that lifting the lifting of restrictions will be “disruptive” for the sector if they are unable to resume full operations in June. Many establishments are now operating at 60% due to social distancing measures. Businesses are “running out of money,” and the delay “will push them to the brink of business.”

Greg Parmley, executive director of Live Music Trade echoes her claim that the entire sector – from festivals to small venues – has been “fully prepared” to return from June 21 after a year-long closure. He argues that “music events can be performed safely with little or no exposure to Covid, so there is no reason to keep us closed anymore.”

Yet George Eustis, the environment minister, told the BBC that the government has a responsibility to act “step by step”:

“We cannot rule out anything. We know that this was a severe pandemic, a dynamic situation. We have to make that judgment a couple of weeks before. Only by then will we see the impact of the last easement, which was made on May 17th. “

The easing schedule varies from region to region: Scotland is ready to lift additional restrictions on coronavirus on June 7, Wales on June 3, and in Northern Ireland, following the last easing on May 24, next steps will be considered on June 10. The final decision on lifting restrictions in England is scheduled to be made on June 14.

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