The UK’s top statistician has predicted a third wave of the Chinese coronavirus would hit in the autumn, despite Britain’s “wonderful vaccination rollout” and virus cases being at their lowest since late September.
Sir Ian Diamond, the head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said that he agreed with England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty when he said last week that a third wave in the autumn was inevitable.
Mr Diamond told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: “We do need at the moment, properly to understand how the data is moving forward, and we need to be really looking at the impact of the wonderful vaccination rollout that we are seeing.
“Having said that, we also need to recognise this is a virus that isn’t going to go away, and I have no doubt that in the autumn, there will be a further wave of infections.”
He said, according to comments reported by the Daily Mail: “The message is good. If you look at our last survey, 400,000 people taking part, we are currently reporting in England, .37 of a per cent, that is about 6,000 cases a day.
“Those are rates that we haven’t seen since late September, with slightly lower numbers in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, but equally they are coming down.
“All of that is good news, but let’s just remember that the number of .37 is still very, very much bigger than the sort of numbers we were seeing last summer at about .04 of a per cent.
“So there is a way to go. I think we are making really good progress. We will be looking very carefully over the next few weeks.”
Closed for Easter: Italy Set to Introduce Another National Lockdown https://t.co/7ZeQnpu7hr
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The Times reported on Saturday that the UK was on course to have offered the first vaccination to every adult by June 10th, exceeding the target the government had set for the end of July. The UK is also two months ahead of the EU in vaccinating their respective adult populations.
The statistician made the predictions despite the UK moving extremely cautiously through Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown strategy.
Unveiled on February 22nd, Prime Minister Johnson announced the phased exit from England’s third lockdown, which commenced at the beginning of January. While schools reopened on March 8th, Britons would “legally required to stay at home” until March 29th. The earliest for the full lifting of lockdown could occur is June 21st.
Johnson had said the week before that while he wanted the third lockdown to be “the last”, he would not rule out a fourth or subsequent state-ordered stay-at-home orders accompanied by the mass shutdown of society.
“No, I can’t give that guarantee, of course not, because we’re battling with nature, with a disease that is capable of mutating and changing,” the prime minister said at the time.
Professor Whitty had suggested in January that there could be another lockdown in Winter 2021, saying that “we might have to bring a few [restrictions] in next winter, for example. That is possible because winter will benefit the virus.”
Papers, Please: Britons Travelling Abroad Must Carry Lockdown Exemption Form or Be Fined £200 https://t.co/uoUCrgGCay
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 6, 2021