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Second Coronavirus Wave Coming, British Medics Warn

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Local flare-ups of the novel coronavirus are likely and a second wave is a real risk, top British medics warned political parties on Wednesday.

“While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk,” the medics said in an open letter to British political leaders.

Derek Alderson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians and Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, signed the open letter in the British Medical Journal. “Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain,” the medics noted.

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Others who signed the open letter included Anne Marie Rafferty, president of Royal College of Nursing, Maggie Rae, president of the Faculty of Public Health, and Richard Horton, editor in chief of the Lancet.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had, on Tuesday, said pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England early July, easing the coronavirus lockdown that shut the economy. The UK has one of the world’s worst official death tolls from the novel coronavirus, though the lockdown has tipped the UK towards the deepest economic contraction in three centuries.

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The medics called for a review of what needs to be done to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 cases. “It should focus on those areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible,” the medics said.

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