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Ex-UK govt adviser warns of 3rd Covid wave 'evidence'

Ex-UK govt adviser warns of 3rd Covid wave 'evidence'

London, June 8 (IANS) A former chief scientific adviser to the UK government has warned that the current Covid-19 figures were “evidence of another wave appearing”.

David King, who was the government’s chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, told Sky News on Monday: “Now we’ve been discussing whether or not we’re going into a serious third wave and I don’t think we can possibly wait any longer. This is the evidence of another wave appearing.”

The UK reported another 5,341 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 4,538,399, while the death toll stood at 128,841.

More than 40.3 million people, or more than three-quarters of adults in the UK, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine while more than 27.6 million people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, according to the latest official figures, Xinhua news agency.

“We know that anyone vaccinated twice is relatively safe against the virus,” said King, who is the incumbent chair of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

“But let’s not forget one in 25 new cases are people who have been vaccinated twice — that means 400 new cases a day are people who had the vaccine twice.”

King also called on the government to delay the proposed easing of lockdown in England on June 21.

“I’m very reluctant to say that we should not go out of lockdown on June 21, but I think the figures are in now, and it will be wise for the government to announce right away a delay in opening, just so that we can all plan for the post-June 21 period.”

When asked for how long, he replied: “I would give a few weeks’ delay and see how the figures are emerging.”

The government is facing increasing pressure to delay the final step of unlocking restrictions in England on June 21 due to concerns over the spread of the B.1.6172 or the Delta variant.

Public Health England (PHE) has said that the Delta variant is now the “dominant” strain in Britain.

The government’s roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21.

–IANS

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