Covid19 – Top Scientist fears UK in early stage of 3rd wave
An eminent Indian-origin scientist advising the British government has warned that there are signs that the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections and urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay the planned June 21 reopening of the country by a few weeks.
Professor Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge, who is a member of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said although new cases were “relatively low” the B.1.617 variant of the Covid-19 had fuelled “exponential growth.”
“Of course the numbers of cases are relatively low at the moment – all waves start with low numbers of cases that grumble in the background and then become explosive, so the key here is that what we are seeing here is the signs of an early wave,” he said.
The plan to end coronavirus restrictions in England on June 21 should be postponed, he said. “If you look at the costs and benefits of getting it wrong, I think it is heavily in favor of delay, so I think that’s the key thing.” Another 3,383 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,487,339, according to official figures released Monday.
The Indian variant – known as B.1.617.2 – is thought to spread more quickly than the Kent variant, which was responsible for the surge in cases in the UK over the winter. In some areas of England – including in Bolton, Blackburn, and Sefton in north-west England and Bedford, Chelmsford and Canterbury in the South East – the Indian variant is causing the majority of infections.