The health secretary has said that the UK could go through a second wave of the coronavirus if young people disobey social distancing rules. Matt Hancock’s statement came after a third of England’s cases over a week period were recorded among people between 10 and 29 years of age. “The numbers have been going up. And we’ve seen in other countries where this leads, and it is not a good place,” he said, adding that students starting University in September was also of concern.
Hancock cited Spain and France as an example of countries where the second wave started largely among younger people before spreading to others. “And now we’re seeing a sharp rise in the number of people in hospital and the number of people who are dying in those countries. That hasn’t happened here yet. And if people follow the social distancing rules, then we can stop that from happening here.”
While cases of COVID-19 can be particularly deadly for the elderly and people with underlying conditions, Hancock said that the virus can also have serious consequences in the young. “Lung Covid is really serious. And people can be in a bad way for months and months and months,” he said. “The second really important message is that younger people spread the disease, even if they don’t have symptoms. Don’t kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on. And you can pass it on before you’ve had any symptoms at all.”
Hancock has also talked about a new strategy for testing those returning to England from vacation. Highlighting that temperature checks at airports do not work due to the virus’ incubation period, he said that testing people eight days after their return from overseas might be a good alternative strategy. This could also reduce the 14-day quarantine period.
It has been suggested that just like in the US, the recent rise in cases in the UK is due to more testing and the increasing number of people socializing, and going to work and school. The spokesman from supplementscouts says that the fear now is that this increase will spill over to the elderly with much more dire consequences, particularly as viruses tend to thrive in colder months. “My advice for the winter months is to stay warm, eat nutritious food, exercise and take supplements,” he commented.
On 6 September, 2,988 new cases were reported in the UK, the highest number since 22 May. The weekly rate for COVID cases has also risen above the rate of 20 cases per 100,000 people to 21.3 cases per 100,000 in the week ending 7 September, a significant increase from 13.9 cases in the previous week.