After data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed an increase in cases, a leading scientist has warned the United Kingdom to brace itself against a new wave of COVID-19.
“We will have a new wave of infections this month,” Professor Christina Pagel, from University College London, told a briefing of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.
“Now, hopefully, it won’t be as high as the previous two waves and might be lower. But we can’t count on that, and either way, we will see more people becoming infected.”
“It’s not surprising that we have a new wave we can see in the data. What’s happened is that people don’t want to look, and we’re kind of closing our eyes to it. This is now our third wave in six months. So we had six months of Delta; we’re now every two months of Omicron.
The Omicron children are better than Omicron successively; that didn’t happen with Delta,” she added.
It comes after ONS swab data showed that Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 are the driving force behind the surge in coronavirus cases in England.
An estimated 797,500 people (1 in 70) in England and 27,700 (1 in 65) in Northern Ireland would have tested positive for Covid in the week ending June 2, up from 784,100 and 24,300 respectively in the week before, according to a survey conducted by ONS.
“Across all four UK countries, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4, and BA.5 increased in the week ending June 2 2022,” the ONS said.
After analysis found both were likely to have a “growth advantage” over BA.2, the UK Health Security Agency had recently classified BA.4 and BA.5 as “variants of concern.”