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10th Jun 2022

‘New covid wave is now starting’ Sage scientist warns as infections spike for first time in two months

Charlie Herbert

New covid wave starting SAGE warns

The number of patients with covid has also risen

A senior member of SAGE has warned the UK is entering a third wave of covid infections after the latest data showed cases rising for the first time in more than two months.

Speaking during a briefing by the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Professor Christina Pagel said: “The new wave is now starting.”

She added: “We will have a new wave of infections this month. Now hopefully it won’t be as high as the previous two waves and might be lower. But we can’t count on that and either way we are going to see more people becoming infected.”

It’s after covid-19 infections have risen in the UK for the first time since the end of March.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), this has probably been caused by increases in cases compatible with the original Omicron variant BA.1 and the newer variants BA.4 and BA.5.

The latter two were recently classified by the UK Health Security Agency as “variants of concern”, after analysis found both were likely to have a “growth advantage” over BA.2, which is still the dominant strain in the UK.

A total of 989,800 people are estimated to have had covid in the last week, a rise of roughly 35,900 on the week before. This is the first week-on-week rise in cases since the end of March, when the figure was as high as 4.9m.

There are four variants of Omicron “all increasing rapidly” at the moment. In the last wave in March, there were just two variants.

Prof Pagel said: “It’s not a surprise that we have a new wave we can see in the data. What’s happened is that people don’t want to look, and we’re kind of closing our eyes to it.

“This is now our third wave in six months. So we had kind of six months of Delta we’re now every two months of Omicron.

“The Omicron children are better than Omicron successively, that didn’t happen with Delta.”

The number of patients in England with covid as of June 9 has gone up by 6 percent to 4,082, while Scotland has seen a rise of 8 percent to 637 patients as of June 5

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