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'Signs of an early wave': UK grapples with unlock measures amid third wave fears

WION Web Team
LondonUpdated: May 31, 2021, 06:09 PM IST

British PM Boris Johnson Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

At least 75 per cent of the British population has received at least one vaccine dose and around 50 per cent have got both shots. 

As the UK prepares to ease the lockdown on June 21, scientists in the country have warned that a third wave of coronavirus may have already begun in Britain.

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Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that the country "we may need to wait" although he asserted that there is nothing in the data to suggest deviation from the roadmap, however, he added that "this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress, we will do whatever it takes to keep the public safe."

The British health ministry had warned earlier that the B1.617.2 variant was spreading "increasingly rapidly" in northwest England and in some parts of London.

At least 75 per cent of the British population has received at least one vaccine dose and around 50 per cent have got both shots. 
The UK vaccination program had kicked off in the oldest age groups with the aim to vaccinate all adults by the end July.

The UK had reported over 3,000 new coronavirus infections for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday.

British vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi said: "We have to be cautious, we have to look at the data and share it with the country."

"Are infection rates too high for us to then not be able to proceed because there are too many people going to the hospital? I don't know the answer to that, but we will know it on hopefully on June 14," the vaccines minister told the British media. 

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the reopening, the government's adviser and microbiologist Professor Ravi Gupta called for a delay in unlocking measures because there were signs the UK may be facing a potential COVID-19 third wave. 
 
Prof Gupta while speaking to the BBC's radio programme said that although the cases might be low, it could be "signs of an early wave" while adding he was concerned that the vaccination programme "may be a false sense of security".

(With Agency inputs)