In a video posted on his Twitter account, NHS Doctor Ron Daniels claimed fears of a second coronavirus wave could be dismissed as he argued the deadly disease is now affecting areas that were yet to be heavily hit for the first time. The doctor also noted the virus is now seemingly affecting younger people and while admitting the virus will kill thousands of people every year, he claimed it is no different from the regular flu. He said: “This week Boris said that Europe was seeing a second wave. This is my very humble non-staged, non-expert take on this.
“Look at the graphs, look at the national level graphs for countries like France and Portugal and Germany and Italy.
“There’s no sign of a second spike on those national-level figures. But the national level is the wrong way to do it. Because this virus behaves at a regional level.
“And we’ve seen this in the United States. We’ve seen the US behave as 50 small countries and two principalities, each going through their first wave at various stages.
“And you see the same for example in Germany, which is being heard as showing a second wave.”
But he noted the cases are not in major cities, rather in areas that had not been majorly hit yet by the virus.
He added: “We’re seeing the same in the UK, we’re seeing cases in Bradford, in Leicester, in populations that were yet to be heavily hit.
“And the other bit of good news is that it seems to be affecting slightly younger people, working age adults who don’t seem to becoming as critically unwell.
“So do I think there’s going to be a second wave? No. Do I think this is going to become endemic and we’ll see a few thousands tragic deaths every year from this condition over the next several years? Yes, but that’s really no different to flu.”
It comes as new lockdown restrictions were introduced overnight for some areas in the north of the country.
People from different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been banned from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.
The new rules also ban members of two different households from mixing in pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues, but these businesses will remain open for those visiting individually or from the same household.
The Government said it will give police forces and councils powers to enforce the new rules – adding that some exemptions will be put in place, including for the vulnerable.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “households gathering and not abiding by the social-distancing rules” was a reason for the stricter rules, announced late on Thursday evening, and that the move was in order to “keep the country safe”.
He said: “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it’s necessary because we’ve seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe.”
The move comes as celebrations take place for the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha, which started on Thursday evening and continues over the weekend, and after the Government reimposed quarantine measures for those arriving in the UK from Spain and Luxembourg.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham welcomed the measures, which he said would be reviewed on a weekly basis.
However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, while also welcoming the measures, criticised the Government’s handling of communicating the change to the public.
In a tweet, he said: “No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
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“But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.”
The household mixing restrictions will also apply in Leicester, which has seen the first so-called local lockdown since June, but other measures in the city will be eased. From Monday restaurants, cafes, bars and hairdressers can reopen – but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed.
On Saturday, Luton will be brought in line with the rest of the country after “significant progress”, the Government said.
Mr Hancock added: “We’re constantly vigilant and we’ve been looking at the data, and unfortunately we’ve seen across parts of northern England an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus.
“So, today, I held a meeting of the Government’s Gold Committee and working with local leaders, including, for instance, Andy Burnham the mayor of Greater Manchester, we’ve decided that we need to take action across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.
“So, from midnight tonight (Friday) we are banning households meeting up indoors.”
In 13 of the 19 affected local authority areas affected, the rate of Covid-19 in the seven days to July 27 has gone up, with 1,536 cases recorded across all the areas in the space of a week.
Published at Fri, 31 Jul 2020 07:06:00 +0000