The UK is “absolutely” preparing for a second peak of coronavirus, despite a “definite and sustained decline” in new cases, the deputy chief medical officer for England has said.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus update, said the risk in new peaks will only be truly averted when a vaccine is found, but he added “we can’t be sure” that will ever happen.
“We may need to live and learn to live with this virus in the long term and certainly for many months to come, if not several years,” Prof Van-Tam said.
Social distancing had worked so far in reducing the spread of the virus, he added, but warned there may be an increase in cases when the season changes.
“It may well be that the autumn and winter conditions provide a better environment for the virus to then do its work again.
“So we have to be very cautious about that and plan for these kind of health care surges that we hope we don’t need but we want to be ready for them if they happen.”