The United Kingdom has reported a surge in coronavirus cases, two of the government’s scientific advisers have issued warnings.
A member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) Prof John Edmunds has warned that cases were now “increasing exponentially”.
In addition to this, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van Tam, said people had “relaxed too much” and must start taking the virus seriously again.
According to the international news agency BBC, over 2,948 Covid-19 cases have been reported on Monday. Where, over 2,988 cases were reported on Sunday, the highest since 22 May.
Prof Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told ITV’s Robert Peston that the R number – which rates Covid-19’s ability to spread – had risen “above one”, so the UK was in a “risky period”. He has previously said that the cases were increasing from a “relatively low level” but “are increasing now exponentially”.
“We can see the epidemic is taking off again. So I don’t think we’ve hit that sweet spot where we’ve been able to control the epidemic and allow the economy to return to some sort of normality,” he said.
Prof Van Tam said earlier on Monday that the latest “big change” in coronavirus infections across the UK as a “great concern”.
“People have relaxed too much. Now is the time for us to re-engage, and to realize that this a continuing threat to us,” he said.
“Where case numbers rise initially in the younger parts of the population they do in turn filter through and start to give elevated rates of disease and hospital admissions in the older age groups, and we know that then becomes a serious public health problem,” he said.
“The fact that 17 to 21-year-olds are not becoming ill means they are lucky, but they also forget because the disease is not severe for them that they are potent spreaders.”