Covid infection levels are showing early signs of an increase in England, data has revealed, as experts continue to warn the variant of concern first detected in India could grow exponentially in the UK.
Clearly lessons have not been learnt because on Friday, Boris Johnson told broadcasters in Portsmouth he has seen nothing to suggest it will be necessary to “deviate from the roadmap”, indicating that the planned lifting of all coronavirus restrictions in England on 21 June may yet go ahead.
However speaking at an online meeting of the Independent Sage group of experts, Prof Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge, a co-opted member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said that despite the UK’s vaccination programme, community spread of the India variant, B.1.617.2, will continue to rise.
“We still have people under the age of 30 not vaccinated, we have many people with only one dose, so this virus has plenty of space to expand exponentially and reach very high levels of infection with quite high levels of morbidity overall,” he said.
His comments came as data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey revealed early signs of a potential rise in the percentage of people testing positive for Covid in England.
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