New coronavirus cases on the rise in the UK, warns health expert

8 August 2020, 10:19 | Updated: 8 August 2020, 10:26

Professor Robert West warns that new cases are still going up

By Seán Hickey

Despite a reduction in overall Covid-19 cases in the UK, this expert warned that the number of new daily cases is rising again.

Andrew Castle was looking at numbers that suggest the number of coronavirus cases here are levelling off. He argued to Professor Robert West of UCL that "it doesn't look like we're levelling off," rather the numbers are decreasing. He wondered if there are reasons to be positive at this time with the news.

Professor West said that the number of new positive test results "has gone up a bit, and that's the concern." He told Andrew that we shouldn't be looking at total cases, we should look at new ones.

"We're not out of the woods yet and it's very important that we recognise that this is a very very infectionable(sic) disease," he said, urging the public to remain vigilant to the potential of coronavirus.

He noted that the amount of people dying has decreased because the "treatment has improved and that is fantastic," but we still have work to do to reduce cases.

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Andrew made the point that "people are dying because of lockdown," and suggested that an increase in cases is a consequence of opening back up to alleviate excess deaths.

Professor West countered that "people are not dying because of lockdown, they're dying because of the aura around it."

"We've lost a huge amount of cancer screening sessions and that has had a huge knock-on effect," he reminded Andrew.

This, he argued, is something that can be solved by upgrading the NHS during this time to facilitate Covid-19 patients while also accommodating all the hospital services that would have taken place before the pandemic. "We need to get our NHS operation back to how it was, if not better obviously, to compensate."