The threat of another surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases exists but further lockdowns may not be required in Britain, a government scientific adviser has said.
Speaking to Times Radio, John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said he was “cautiously optimistic” that another lockdown won’t be needed even if the UK sees a possible Covid-19 resurgence, fuelled by lives returning to normal.
“We’re not doing that this time. But I don’t think we will need to go into a lockdown. I hope not anyway. I very much hope not. I’m cautiously optimistic about that,” he said.
After a sharp decline in daily Covid-19 cases, the United Kingdom has been reporting a surge in infections for the past few days. On Friday, Britain recorded 31,808 new Covid-19 cases, a marginal rise from the previous day when it registered 30,093 fresh infections. The infections are expected to rise in September when schools and colleges open for new academic sessions and more workers return to office spaces.
Will we ever return to completely normal behaviour? I don’t know. But there’s a long way to go between the sorts of behaviours that we’re collectively making now and the average behaviour that we were making before the pandemic. There is a big difference,” Edmunds added.
On July 19, Britain removed almost all restrictions even as the country continued to report a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government relied on relatively high vaccination coverage to reopen the economy badly hit by months of curbs. More than 57% of the UK population has been fully vaccinated and nearly 12% of the population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.