Second wave of Covid-19 coming to United Kingdom, says PM

Boris Johnson: Speak to people breaking coronavirus rule of six before reporting to police

As the United Kingdom recorded almost 4,000 new coronavirus cases in a day for the first time since the start of May, with a 24-hour spike from 3,539 to 3,991, on Wednesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government was doing everything in its power to dodge a second national lockdown, which he suggested would be financially "disastrous".

Over the past three days, opposition lawmakers have criticized Johnson's handling of the COVID-19 crisis and said his government lacked a cohesive plan to tackle a second wave of the pandemic.

"We can grip it now, stop the surge, arrest the spike, stop the second hump of the dromedary, flatten the second hump", Johnson told the tabloid, before musing on his metaphor.

Referring to his new Rule of Six, he acknowledged it could be seen as "heavy handed", but said: "There are places in Europe which I will not name, such is my reputation for diplomacy, where we've come down one hump of the camel and we are approaching the next".

The United Kingdom was reported to be considering whether to impose a new lockdown across the country, after new COVID-19 cases nearly doubled to 6,000 a day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.

The prime minister was visiting the site of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre which is now being built to manufacture vaccines for Covid-19 and is set to open next summer.

Last week, the R number was said to be between 1.0 and 1.2.

This week, Johnson has again mentioned plans to prioritise who should be able to get a test.

Mr Johnson said a second lockdown was the "last thing anybody wants" but that the current measures would need to be kept "under review".

He says that some 1,000 pilgrims are staying between Belarusian and Ukrainian border crossings, while more people were in Belarus.

"But the crucial thing is to observe the basic rules on social distancing - hands, face, space - that's what everybody's got to do if we're going to continue to beat this thing".

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"I really sympathise for those that can't get the test that they want", Johnson added, conceding "the system is really struggling with the real weight of demand".

"We don't want to go there".

"The only way we can do that is, obviously, if people follow the guidance".

Amid continuing concerns over the inability to access tests and delays in getting results, Mr Johnson said 89% of those who have in-person tests get them the next day.

"What I will say is, as we go forward, we will be explaining in great detail to people what the scientific background is, what the epidemiology is saying and, really, how we propose to do it". However, he was quick to note that the disease "has not gone away".

"Last week, 60% of the people that were being tested were between the ages of 18 and 30".

He added: "No one doubts how much effort is going in to get it right".

"And I think probably, truth to tell, what's happened here and what, alas, has happened in so many other countries is that people find it hard to keep this up".

But the prime minister has faced stinging criticism this week over the failure to achieve the "world-beating" testing and tracing system he promised by the summer.

And defending his decision to limit social gatherings to six people, he said: "I don't want a second national lockdown".

Ministers are thought to be considering a two-week national "circuit break", an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

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