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Easing lockdown could lead to 3rd Covid-19 wave in UK: Scientists

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Easing lockdown could lead to 3rd Covid-19 wave in UK: ScientistsLondon, April 12 (IANS) British scientists have warned that the British government is risking a third wave of Covid-19 by easing the lockdown too soon, local media reported.

“There are areas in West Yorkshire, the Black Country and other regions that still have high infection rates. However, many people there cannot afford to self-isolate. We need to tackle that issue urgently or the virus will come back again,” Leeds University medical school Associate Professor Stephen Griffin told the Observer on Sunday.

“It’s worrying. There are far too many virus hotspots and not enough attention being paid to controlling infections that might spread from them,” said Griffin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Professor Lawrence Young of Warwick medical school said: “The test, trace and isolate system that is supposed to contain outbreaks has not worked well, and even when people test positive, they are not isolating. We need a properly funded system for quarantining infected people. We don’t have that and that raises the risk we could head back into trouble again quite quickly.”

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The scientists made their remarks as Britain is poised to partly ease the current lockdown restrictions, the third of its kind since the start of the pandemic in the country, on Monday.

From Monday, non-essential shops will reopen and pubs and restaurants will reopen outdoors at a time when Britain moves to step two of the roadmap out of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Meanwhile, hairdressers and barbers as well as gyms can reopen, along with zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres.

Experts have warned that despite progress in vaccine rollout, Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants and the third wave of pandemic on the European continent.

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More than 32 million people have been given the first coronavirus vaccine jab, according to the official figures.

The estimated coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, in England is unchanged at between 0.8 and one, according to the latest official data.

It means that, on average, every 10 people who have coronavirus will infect between eight and 10 others.

Government advisory scientists said the situation is too variable in some regions to produce a Britain-wide R rate, but the number is believed to be above one in some parts of the country, which means the outbreak could grow exponentially.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

Source: IANS

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