The warning comes from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Special Envoy for COVID-19 Response, Dr David Nabarro. Speaking to Sky News on Friday the health expert warned the current wave of the deadly coronavirus was more dangerous than the first due to the “intensity of transmission” being “much greater”. He said: “The second wave is fiercer than the first wave was.
“The virus is much more widely spread throughout Europe.
“And the intensity of transmission is much greater.
“I do not think the virus itself has changed significantly.
“But we do think the distribution in communities is broader and that is leading to a much stronger surge.”
READ MORE: Boris refuses to rule out post-Christmas lockdown
He went on to warn it was harder to “get the numbers down” and this meant “much greater strength” was needed in order to “hold the virus back”.
He said: “It is as though we are a gang of people who are united by linking our arms together.
“This time to face the virus we are having to grab each other really, really tightly because it is coming at us with an even greater force than before.”
It comes as Boris Johnson has not ruled out a third national lockdown amid rising rates of coronavirus, as health chiefs warn of the toll on frontline staff and services from festive mixing.
Schools minister Nick Gibb earlier insisted England’s tier system, which will see swathes of southern and eastern England move to the toughest restrictions, is “very effective”.
But he added “we rule nothing out” when asked about the possibility of a national lockdown after Christmas.
The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson, described a “real perfect storm” for hospitals as they try to balance increased numbers of Covid-19 patients with non-Covid work and a lack of beds.
She said: “It seems to me we need to do whatever it takes to get the situation firmly under control so that we can vaccinate people and then move forward.”