What is the risk of a second coronavirus wave?

Groups of no more than six people from different households are permitted to mingle outside, with Britons also allowed to take unlimited outdoor exercise. It is broadly defined as a rise in cases, followed by a decline, which may occur several times over until an effective vaccine is rolled out. “The outbreak in Beijing serves as a reminder that, despite the UK having passed through the first wave of COVID-19, we still remain in the early stages of the pandemic”, said Dr Tom Wingfield from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. A level three alert means the coronavirus is circulating, but is low enough to allow the gradual easing of restrictions. “The move to level three is not a time for complacency, there is still the prospect of a second wave if controls are relaxed too quickly and the reproductive number (R) rises above one,” said Professor Keeling. A second wave could be triggered if lockdown is lifted too quickly, something government officials have repeatedly stressed they are not prepared to risk. “The system depends on widespread public support,” said Professor James Naismith from the Rosalind Franklin Institute. As the northern hemisphere edges towards winter, the situation could become more severe if the NHS has to contend with both the coronavirus and seasonal flu. Professor Jonathan Ball from the University of Nottingham told the BBC a second wave is “almost inevitable, particularly as we go towards the winter months. Pathogens that do not generally leave patients bedridden are considered more “successful” due to most feeling well enough to go out and about, unwittingly spreading the infection.