A SECOND wave of coronavirus could hit the UK when the normal cold season starts in October and many more will die, a top scientist warned.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said that the UK is “on a knife edge” – meaning the next three months will be crucial to getting on top of the virus to prepare for the next spike in infections.
And he said he was worried as Britain starts to open up the economy once again with pubs and restaurants returning from July 4.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today, he said: “A true second wave will come in the winter months – October, November.”
The problem will then be that people will struggle to tell the difference between a common cold and coronavirus.
He added that it was vital that Britain was able to interrupt the chains of transmission within 48 hours or the virus would spread out of control again.
The news came as:
- The first local lockdown could come in days in Leicester as dozens of fresh cases emerged
- Boris Johnson warned that all kids will have to be back in school by September
- And he will reveal a fresh programme to rebuild Britain this week
“We can prevent the national catastrophe that happened in March and April,” Sir Jeremy said.
“The next three months are absolutly critical.
“We’re on a knife edge.
“But if we don’t have those core infrastructures in place, we will see a very nasty rebound in the winter.”
This comes as the country begins loosening its official lockdown rules – however revellers have already been flouting two metre social distancing guidelines.
Hundreds of people attended illegal mass parties in Clapham and Tooting Bec yesterday, while crowds of holidaymakers flocked to Bournemouth beach amid last week’s hot weather.
Coronavirus cases have already surged in Leicester, which could cause a potential local lockdown in the area within the next few days.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has also urged the public to go to pubs next weekend – but has warned people to remember that the virus hasn’t disappeared.
When asked if more people could lose their lives, Sir Jeremy replied: “They could do.
“We have got to move ahead of the pandemic. Once you get behind it, you lose track of it – that’s what happened in the UK.
“We were too slow, the epidemic took off.”
The virus was likely spreading across China in the world in December, if not January, he said.
There will be rebounds in certain cities and areas and these must be controlled to stop cases spiraling out of control again, he stressed.
On reopening parts of the economy he said: “There is no zero risk in any of this.
“We are not at the stage where the virus has disappeared.
“Try and stay outside, try and stay in small numbers.
“Don’t get caught indoors in large groups of people from large numbers of households.”