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Britain on coronavirus 'knife edge', Sage adviser warns, with spike in  infections expected by July

Sir Jeremy Farrar concerned that easing of restrictions in May will result in 'very nasty' virus rebound in winter

Britain is on a "knife edge" and likely to see an increase in coronavirus cases by July, a Government adviser has warned.

2020欧洲杯体育投注开户Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said he was concerned that there will soon be a surge of new infections caused by lockdown restrictions being eased towards the end of May.

"I would predict, I would guess, that we will start to see a few increases in cases towards the end of June or the first week of July, and the continued lifting of restrictions and people deciding to take things into their own hands and go about life as normal," he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

2020欧洲杯体育投注开户"We're on a knife edge – it's very precarious, the situation, particularly in England at the moment, and I would anticipate we would see an increase in new cases over the coming weeks."

From the middle of May, some retail outlets, like showrooms and garden centres were allowed to reopen. By the beginning of June, schools began to take pupils back and people were allowed to meet in larger groups ahead of the wide-scale opening of shops in mid June. 

Sir Jeremy said the lifting was too early because the number of new infections per day was very high.

When the first measures were lifted there were still thousands of cases per day, and some experts warned that 40 deaths per day could be the ongoing cost of easing the lockdown so soon.

Although cases have fallen in recent weeks2020欧洲杯体育投注开户, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the decrease is flatlining and numbers may be starting to rise again.

Sir Jeremy argued that the next three months were critical in the fight against coronavirus in Britain, adding that it was crucial to have track and trace systems in place for schools going back in September. 

He also warned that a "very nasty rebound" of the virus could happen in October or November.

"Come the winter, come the reopening of schools, which is absolutely critical, we can anticipate to see rebounds and second waves," he said. "We're seeing second spikes now in continental Europe, in Germany, and I think we will see rebounds.

"It will be in certain situations – we've had outbreaks in meat packing factories across the continent and indeed in the UK. I think a true second wave will come in the winter months, in October, November

2020欧洲杯体育投注开户"We've learnt a huge amount about the disease and we're better at treating it today. The mortality rates have come down. But it is still a very, very nasty infection."

At a recent lecture, Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, also warned it was "inevitable" that there would be a second spike in Britain which could overwhelm the NHS.

"If at that time we decide we are not going to do any more social distancing measures, then it will probably be worse than it was," he said. "And even if the peak is not as big, but coincides with other pressures, the pressures on the NHS will be worse."

Sir Jeremy urged people to be cautious about booking holidays or going to the pub when pubs reopen next weekend.

"There is no zero risk in any of this," he said. "We're not at the stage where the virus has disappeared. The restrictions have not changed the fundamentals of the virus.

"It remains the same virus. It's still as infectious, it transmits from me to you just as easily. Try and stay outside, try and stay with a small group of people."