Boris Johnson warns UK of coronavirus 'third wave'
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There are fears infections could surge across the UK again in the months ahead due to mutations of the virus which are resistant to vaccines currently being deployed across the country. In his starkest warning yet of the threat posed by new variants, Mr Johnson said the country must prepare for a new spike in infections in the months ahead.
The Prime Minister announced a new antivirals taskforce has been launched to find new ways of treating Covid-19 ahead of the winter with the hope of scientists developing a coronavirus tablet or capsule that can be taken at home to help treat those infected with the disease.
It is hoped the new medicine would help combat any future increase in infections and limit the impact of new variants.
Speaking at a televised coronavirus briefing from Downing Street tonight, Mr Johnson said: “The majority of scientific opinion in this country is still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of Covid at some stage this year, and so we must as far as possible learn to live with this disease as we live with other diseases.”
He added the money being pumped into the new coronavirus treatments could help people give confidence to people that the country could “continue on our path towards freedom”.
“This means for example that if you test positive for the virus that there might be a tablet you could take at home to stop the virus in its tracks and significantly reduce the chance of infection turning into more serious disease,” he said.
Amid the fears of a third wave, the Prime Minister sought to reassure the public there was no reason to currently delay his roadmap back to normality saying the data did not “now” suggest a need to change path.
He said: “As we look at what is happening in other countries with cases now at record numbers around the world, we cannot delude ourselves that Covid has gone away.
“I see nothing in the data now that makes me think we are going to have to deviate in any way from the roadmap cautious but irreversible that we have set out.
“But the majority of scientific opinion in this country is still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of Covid at some stage this year and so we must – as far as possible – learn to live with this disease, as we live with other diseases.”
There are concerns a mutant variant first identified in South Africa, as well as a strain from India could be vaccine-busting.
It comes as in the past 24 hours a further 373,423 new coronavirus injections have been administered.
In total 33,032,120 people have received a first dose of a life-saving jab, with 99,672 new vaccines administered yesterday.
A further 273,751 second doses were also administered in the last 24 hours.
Coronavirus deaths have continued to plunge following the rollout of the life-saving jabs.
Yesterday 33 more Covid deaths were recorded, a drop of 23.7 percent in a week.
New infections are also down 10.2 percent over the past seven days with 2,524 new cases registered.
More to follow…
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