By Aditi Khanna ;
SCIENTIFIC experts have warned of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and another complete nation-wide lockdown in the UK unless stricter measures are adhered to amid a rising number of infections in the country over the past week. Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine and an expert respiratory medicine at Imperial College London, said the new “rule of six” restrictions on large gatherings which comes in force from Monday is extremely crucial.
“I think everyone is in agreement that we really need to act very quickly now in order to prevent this from growing exponentially and that’s the main point, is that we must act fast because it is so much harder to get this sort of thing under control if you delay even a few days,” Openshaw told ‘Sky News’. “But if we don’t do this [rule of six] now we are going to be right back in hard lockdown in short order, that’s the only way we have at the moment for controlling this but there are other things on the horizon. We need to act quickly,” he said. “This isn’t a game. We shouldn’t be out trying to party as hard as we can in the run up to Monday’s lockdown. We should all be thinking about what we can do to slow down the spread,” he added.
Sir John Bell, Oxford University’s Regius Professor of Medicine and member of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, welcomed the resumption of the Oxford vaccine trials after a brief pause but warned that a COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to be ready in time for a second wave. From Monday, gatherings of more than six people in England will be subject to a 100 pounds fine.
The move was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last this week amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases across the country. Meanwhile, police forces shut down a series of illegal parties overnight on Saturday as people tried to make the most of a final weekend before tougher coronavirus restrictions from Monday. Greater Manchester Police said it had halted illegal gatherings across the city and fixed penalty notices were issued at each of the incidents, which breached existing bans on groups of more than 30 meeting.