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Boris Johnson is pushing UK towards ‘second wave’ of coronavirus deaths

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  • Boris Johnson is risking the UK drifting into a second wave of coronavirus infections which could result in thousands of avoidable deaths, the country’s former chief science adviser Sir David King has warned.
  • King, who wrote on behalf of the Independent SAGE group of leading scientists, said there was ‘no evidence that the government has a considered strategy for the next stages of handling the pandemic in the UK.’
  • It comes as Boris Johnson announced that he would lift many social distancing measures quickly in recent weeks in order to invigorate the economy.
  • Johnson’s approach contrasts with that of Scotland’s, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says eliminating the virus entirely is the government’s ‘overriding priority.’
  • Some scientists believe the number of coronavirus cases in England may already be rising again.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The UK is heading for a second wave of coronavirus infections which could result in thousands of avoidable deaths, the country’s former chief science adviser has warned, with official data indicating that the rate of transmission has flatlined, or risen in recent weeks as the economy starts to reopen.

As Boris Johnson told the public on Friday that they should return to their offices from August, Sir David King — who was the UK’s chief science adviser until 2007 — said in an open letter that there was “no evidence that the government has a considered strategy for the next stages of handling the pandemic in the UK.”

King leads a working group of scientists called the “Independent SAGE” committee which aims to offer alternative advice to SAGE, the committee which formally reports to Downing Street.

His letter on behalf of the group added: “Our fear is that if the government does not revise its approach, we could see thousands of unnecessary and avoidable deaths and continued economic stasis.”

Boris Johnson has begun to lift social distancing measures quickly in recent weeks in order to invigorate the economy and said on Friday that all remaining lockdown measures could be lifted as early as November.

However, while the number of daily coronavirus deaths has fallen consistently, the number of cases appears to have flatlined, with reports even suggesting that the number of cases may already be rising again.

Data from King’s College London’s COVID Symptom Tracker indicates that there are currently 2,103 cases of coronavirus being recorded every day of the last seven, compared to 1,400 the previous week, according to a Mirror report. The data may be within the margin of error but does at least indicate that cases are no longer falling.

King instead urged Downing Street to pursue a “Zero COVID” strategy where it enforced social distancing measures for long enough to eliminate the virus entirely, as New Zealand has done.

Boris Johnson’s approach contrasts with that of Scotland’s, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says eliminating the virus entirely is the government’s “overriding priority.”

Scotland recorded just 11 new cases yesterday and has recorded just one coronavirus death in the last 8 days.

Data from King’s College London’s COVID Symptom Tracker indicates that there are currently 2,103 cases of coronavirus being recorded every day of the last seven, compared to 1,400 the previous week, according to a Mirror report. The rise is within the margin of error but does at least indicate that cases are no longer falling.

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