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Friday 5th June 2020

UK could face 'up to six waves of coronavirus', expert warns

The UK could face another six waves of the coronavirus pandemic, an expert has warned.

Leading physician Prof. Anthony Costello told the House of Commons' Health and Social Care Committee that authorities did not act quickly enough to contain the deadly COVID-19.

Speaking to MPs over video link on Friday (April 17), Prof. Costello warned the UK would see a higher death toll than any other country in Europe.

A leading physician has warned the UK could see more waves of coronavirus (Credit: Ruby Ldn /

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And to avoid another spike in deaths from the flu-like bug, which this week passed the 14,000 mark, he urged the government to increase community testing.

Embrace contact tracing

He said embracing contact tracing, as seen in South Korea, could also help Britain avoid another spike in fatalities.

Prof. Costello spoke via video link (Credit: UK Parliament / YouTube)

Prof. Costello, from University College London's Institute for Global Health, said: "We all hope that the national lockdown and social distancing will bring about a large suppression of the epidemic. However, we are going to face further waves.

"[Britain needs] to make sure we have a system in place that can not just do a certain number of tests in the laboratory.

"We also need a system at district and community level to test people rapidly in the community, in care homes, and make sure the results get back to them very quickly."

We are going to face further waves.

Speaking further, he said Brits need to continue maintaining "some kind" of social distancing even when Government lifts the national lockdown.

This could include focusing on placing people who have confirmed cases of coronavirus - and those with whom they have come in contact - into isolation.

He continued: "You need to find cases, test them if you can, trace their contacts, isolate them, do social distancing - but most importantly of all you do it all at speed."

Further waves

A vaccine might not be available until Spring 2021 or later. And Prof. Costello warned that the UK could go through six waves of coronavirus between now and then.

The UK's lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks (Credit: Spartacus /

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Earlier this week, Dominic Raab confirmed the UK's lockdown would continue for at least another three weeks.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference on Thursday (April 16), the Foreign Secretary also outlined five key targets the government wants to hit before listing social-distancing measures.

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