The rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK is down to more tests being carried out and does not point to a second wave, an expert on medicine has said.
Medical experts have previously predicted that the UK will see a second wave of the virus in winter, a forecast echoed by World Health Organization (WHO) Europe director Hans Kluge last week.
However, Professor Carl Heneghan of the University of Oxford believes that while a “comprehensive system of national test and trace” has led to an uptick of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the UK, that does not mean the disease is on the rise.
Instead, Heneghan said “new mild cases” are not infectious, and are simply being picked up by sensitive tests, providing positive results.
These virus particles already been dealt with “efficiently” by immune systems of those who have contracted COVID-19, Heneghan said.
He told MailOnline: “There is currently no second wave. What we are seeing is a sharp rise in the number of healthy people who are carrying the virus, but exhibiting no symptoms.
“Almost all of them are young. They are being spotted because – finally – a comprehensive system of national test and trace is in place.”
He added: “The government urgently needs to send out a clear, concise message that the risk from COVID-19 is currently low.”
Heneghan said the fear that people with coronavirus but no symptoms are spreading it to others “is not borne out by the experiences of the past six months”.
Newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that weekly death registrations involving COVID-19 in England and Wales fell to 138 in the week ending 21 August – their lowest level since before lockdown.
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