‘Time to panic?’: UK hits worrying virus 'threshold'

The UK recorded its biggest rise in coronavirus cases in months on Sunday as the hard-hit country stares down the barrel of a potential second wave.

There were 2,988 new coronavirus cases on Sunday (local time), which marked the highest daily increase in cases recorded in the country since 23 May. On Monday, it recorded another 2,948 cases.

“This is especially concerning for a Sunday when report numbers are generally lower than most other days of the week,” said Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia in a statement.

“Sadly it is beginning to look like we are moving into a period of exponential growth in the UK epidemic and if so we can expect further increases over coming weeks.”

Bar staff wearing face shields serve a group of friends in London. Source: Getty
Bar staff wearing face shields serve a group of friends in London. Source: Getty

According to Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock, it is younger people responsible for the rise in cases.

“The cases are predominantly among younger people, but we've seen in other countries across the world and in Europe this sort of rise in the cases amongst younger people leading to a rise across the population as a whole,” he said.

“It's so important that people don't allow this illness to infect their grandparents and to lead to the sorts of problems that we saw earlier in the year.”

Economic editor at Sky News in the UK, Ed Conway, pointed out the country had hit the same threshold at which it imposed mandatory quarantine on people coming from overseas.

The uptick in cases in the UK comes as government officials have reportedly expressed concern of an incoming second wave of cases.

According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a senior government source said Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes a second wave, being experienced in other European countries, could hit the UK within a fortnight.

“The PM is extremely concerned by what he's seeing abroad and fears we could be seeing the same thing here in a fortnight. People have got to realise we are still in the middle of a pandemic,” the official said.

After announcing plans for the easing of restrictions, to allow wedding receptions, sporting events and indoor performances to resume, Mr Johnson has postponed the changes over fears of rising cases.

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