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Covid fears: Expert who predicted virus timeline claims ‘there will be no third wave’

Coronavirus 'double mutation' variant found in UK

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Professor Philip Thomas suggests “there is little convincing evidence” that “Britain is about to be hit by a third wave, accompanied by a renewed surge in deaths.” He has been critical of “pessimistic experts” whose “bleak foreboding” suggested the UK could enter “another health crisis.”

Prof Thomas said that, based on the current figures, plans to lift all remaining restrictions by June 21 could soon be a reality.

Waiting for Mail Online, Prof Thomas pointed to claims made about possibly tens of thousands of deaths.

He added: “In the same vein, at the beginning of the month, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) — whose modelling has provided the basis for the tough lockdown policy — warned that Britain is ‘highly likely’ to suffer a third wave, while any attempt to return to life as it was in February 2020 would probably result in ‘a big epidemic’.

“This gloom has been compounded by fears about the advent of more infectious variants of the virus, such as the new B.1.617 type from India, whose spread across the subcontinent has just forced the Prime Minister to cancel his forthcoming visit there.”

Prof Thomas believes the death rates will remain “extremely low” even if the rates of infection go up thanks to the Government’s vaccination drive.

He wrote of certain viewpoints: “As a scientist specialising in risk management, I believe this negativity is overdone.

“There is little convincing evidence to back the claim that, as lockdown is eased, Britain is about to be hit by a third wave, accompanied by a renewed surge in deaths.

“On the contrary, it is my view that if there is indeed an increase in infections over the coming months, it will have little significant impact and the death toll will remain extremely low.

“That is because of the huge success of the vaccine programme, which will mean that by June, the overwhelming majority of the population is protected.”

The risk management expert echoed views recently expressed by Professor Adam Finn of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), who said claims the new Indian variant could potentially start a third wave were “a bit pessimistic”.

Prof Finn told Times Radio: “We’ve all expected evolution of this virus to occur from the start.

“I also think that we know from other viruses and previous experience that the immunity that vaccines give won’t just disappear.

“It will be a gradual erosion. It won’t be back to square one. I would be really surprised if that happened.

“So, I think, possibly, that interpretation is a bit pessimistic.”

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