On Monday, Britain reported just 38 deaths from COVID-19 over the most recent 24-hour period – the second lowest since lockdown began on March 23. The slump in new infections and fatalities from the deadly bug has led to the government gradually easing lockdown measures enforced to help curb the spread of the virus. But Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford who has advised ministers on coronavirus testing, expects a second COVID-19 outbreak to his the UK.
He warned the worry should be more around how widespread the second wave will be, as opposed to if it is going to occur at all.
Sir John told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee: “Given the fact that the lockdown has now been largely released, we’re now back in action, and we have still – pretty rapidly declining – but a pretty reasonable level of infections in the community.
“I would be very surprised if we avoided the second wave.
“I think the real question is, are we going to have a number of single outbursts around the country and then a second wave, or are we going to just get a second wave and when will that be?”
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7.50am update: NZ confirms two news cases – ending 24-day streak of no new infections
New Zealand has reported two new coronavirus cases – bot related to recent travel from the UK – ending a three-and-a-half week streak of no fresh infections in the country.
The Director General of Health told a news conference the new cases were women aged in their 30s and 40s who were visiting a dying parent in Wellington.
Both women arrived in New Zealand from the UK on June 7 via Doha and Brisbane and were in an isolation facility in Auckland.
They were given special permission to leave the facility to visit the dying parent in Wellington. Both are now self isolating.
The new infections are a set back for New Zeland, which lifted all lockdown restrictions expect for border controls last week, after declaring it had no new or active coronavirus cases.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned: “I don’t want New Zealanders to believe that the battle is over when it is not.”