Experts have warned of a second wave of coronavirus as people flock to beaches in the United Kingdom. The UK Health Minister has now warned of reversing the easing of lockdown.
Even before the lockdown could ease further on July 4, hot weather in the UK led to people flout all social distancing norms and flock the beaches in large numbers, creating worries of a second spike of coronavirus cases.
Thousands of people flocked the coast in Dorset, a county of Hampshire in South of England. Over 40 tonnes of waste was collected over the past two days from the coastline after thousands of people visited the beaches. Extra police personnel had to be summoned to manage the gatherings.
The council of the area declared it a major incident and had to involve “multi agency emergency response.” They also called it “irresponsible behaviour.”
Dr Lucy-Jane Davis, chair of the south west regional council of the British Medical Association said, “It is therefore vital that tourist operators, local authorities, politicians and NHS leaders work together to ensure all risks are considered ahead of July 4. It is only by minimising the spread of the virus that we will be able to minimise the illness.”
In an interview to India Today TV, the chair of BMA Dr. Chand Nagpaul warned, “This is a result of some of the messaging from the government which says you can enjoy normal living. I don’t think we can enjoy normal living. We can enjoy some elements of normal living, but it cannot be done in a normal way. The government should not have allowed easing down unless it puts in place the right measures.”
Referring to a beach scenario of Spain where social distancing was maintained with markings and monitoring guards to ensure it’s followed, Dr Nagpaul called for a specific rather than a “mixed message.”
In the absence of “clear guidance for tourists and so the doctors” BMA hopes “the advice can help reduce the spread of infection and ultimately prevent undue pressure being placed on local health systems, particularly those close to tourist hotspots.”
Dr Peter English, chair of the BMA Public Health Medicine Committee, said, “The return of tourism will not be without risk as large numbers of people begin to travel across the country, potentially causing the spread of the virus between different regions.”
He also said, “Lockdown is being eased and many aspects of life are returning to some form of normality, however, it is vitally important to recognise that this deadly virus has not gone away. Covid-19 still poses a substantial risk to the public and to the NHS and so as we move forward, we must do so with extreme caution and do all we can to prevent a potential second wave.”
Resonating a similar sentiment even the chief medical officer of England Professor Chris Whitty had said, “Covid-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation. If we do not follow social distancing guidance, then cases will rise again.”