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A SECOND wave of the coronavirus "won't be as bad as the first" due to new treatments and local lockdowns, experts have claimed.

Officials claim that while cases are on the rise in the UK, the curve will be flatter compared to the start and the peak of the pandemic in March and April.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

6Experts have claimed that a second wave of the virus won't be as bad as the first

It comes after the Office for National Statistics yesterday revealed that influenza and pneumonia is still killing ten times more people in England than Covid-19.

The latest data from the ONS revealed that deaths from coronavirus fell below 100 for the first time since March.

The Daily Mail reported that government officials believe that social distancing, combined with local lockdowns, will see a reduction in both deaths and case numbers.

Areas such as Newcastle, Leeds and Merseyside have all been added to the government's watch list as cases climb - but the experts said that rising infection rates are "normal".

Belgium scientist Jean-Luc Gala said people should "no longer worry" about the virus and should just look at measures to curb the spread.

Speaking to La Dernière Heure he said: "The virus circulating in a category that does not suffer from it, young people will at worst have small symptoms, at best nothing at all."

He added that those who are only hit by mild symptoms would help achieve wider immunity in communities.





But experts have concerns that the flu combined with Covid could add further pressure to an already struggling NHS.

The government has previously shown concern over developing flu rates in the UK.

Early this year the government said it would provide 30 million free flu jabs to people in the UK in order to stop a second wave of the virus.

The Government is aiming to double its winter flu vaccination programme in England with free shots for those aged 50 and over as well as 11-year-olds.

Officials believe that messages around hand hygiene and the use of masks will also help to suppress flu infections.

6 6

A deeper knowledge and understanding of Covid-19 could keep the curve flat, as more treatments continue to be rolled out - such as dexamethsone.

Medics behind the RECOVERY trial - the largest globally testing potential Covid therapies - claim their results are "jaw-dropping".

They found it cut the risk of death by 35 per cent for patients on ventilators, and for those on oxygen support, it reduced mortality by 20 per cent.

Experts say that if the cheap drug had been available at the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 Brit lives would have been saved.

The health secretary Matt Hancock had previously put a rise in cases of the coronavirus down to the "affluent young" and claimed that younger generations were not practising social distancing.

Despite this, data from the Department of Health shows that while case numbers are climbing in people aged 17-21, infection rates for those in their 50s and 60s are as high as they were for people in their 20s several weeks ago.

Testing times

Yesterday it was reported that another 3,105 people tested positive for coronavirus as cases in the UK continue to rise - and Brits struggle to get hold of tests.

Some 27 people have lost their lives to the deadly bug as the UK's grim tally rose to 41,664.

Of that number, 14 people died in hospital in England.

Patients were aged between 62 and 94, and all had known underlying health conditions.

Many people across the UK are struggling to get tested for the virus

The World Health Organisation has now said that the outlook is "now worse than any science fiction".

Dr David Nabarro yesterday told MPs that the situation was "out of control".

Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee he said: "It's a terrible situation... a health issue has got so out of control it's knocking the world into not just a recession but a huge economic contraction, which would probably double the number of poor people, double the number of malnourished [and] lead to hundreds of millions of small businesses going bankrupt."

Dr Nabarro's comments on the situation come as Brits across the country struggle to get tests.

The Health Secretary said Covid tests would be prioritised for people with acute clinical needs and those in social care, following a nationwide test shortage.

Yesterday, no tests were available in 46 out of 48 of the nation’s worst hotspots as the fiasco spiralled.

Sites in Southend, Bury, Birmingham and Manchester were overwhelmed with families desperately trying to get tests to allow them to get back to work or school.

A backlog of 240,000 tests has now built up, which will not be cleared until autumn or beyond — when millions of people will be at risk of cold and flu symptoms similar to coronavirus.

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As a result, Matt Hancock has been forced to restrict testing to hospital patients, care home residents and key workers, saying: “I don’t shirk from decisions about prioritisation.

“They are not always comfortable, but they are important.

“We’ll set out an updated prioritisation and I do not rule out further steps to make sure our tests are used according to those priorities.”

The breakdown in the system has left thousands, including doctors, nurses, care home residents and teachers all unable to get checked for the killer virus.

Schoolchildren and parents could be among groups prioritised for COVID-19 tests, says cabinet minister

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China, WHO could have helped prevent COVID-19 pandemic: congressional report

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Dennis Nilsen’s Cranley Gardens a Des res thanks to a perfect Tennant

VICTIMS aside, it was the bloke from Dyno-Rod I felt sorry for watching ITV’s Dennis Nilsen drama last week.

Plumber Mike Cattran was, after all, the man who discovered the body parts in Cranley Gardens and one of the very few people who was doing his job properly in this whole ugly saga.

6David Tennant absolutely nailed the revolting self-obsession of NilsenCredit: NEWPICTURES

In the process he probably saved dozens of lives, as Nilsen himself admitted: “I could never have stopped.”

Yet the ITV production reduced him to just another gormless, working-class cliche who was damned to hell for selling his public-interest story to the tabloids.

Ironic really, as that’s pretty much what the network was attempting to do with Des, a mesmerising three-part dramatisation, based on Brian Masters’ book Killing For Company, that’s a lot easier to champion artistically than it is morally.

Naturally, it didn’t stop everyone involved in the project having a go, including the undoubted star of this mini-series, David Tennant, who was doing the voiceover for a pretty ghoulish Nilsen documentary the night after Des finished.

Before the drama aired, though, he claimed: “It wasn’t sensationalist or celebrating violence. It was memorialising the victims.”

You may agree with the actor, but the statement strikes me as self-serving nonsense.

Watching Des, the victims mostly felt like a bit of an afterthought, to the extent that I reckon a lot of viewers would probably find it easier to name Nilsen’s dog, Bleep, than any of the people he murdered.

During those moments Tennant wasn’t dominating proceedings, in fact, priority was nearly always given to the internal politics and budget constraints of the Metropolitan Police, who had several opportunities to stop Nilsen before Dyno-Rod literally pulled them out of a hole, but were always too homophobic to bother investigating complaints Nilsen dismissed as “lovers’ tiffs”.


None of that was mentioned on Des, where the dialogue only ever hinted at gross incompetence.

“What’s going on with John the Guardsman?”

“Hayley’s checking all Guardsmen called John.”

Good work, Hayley. You’ll be Chief Commissioner by 2022.

Weirdly, as well as airbrushing the plod’s questionable role in the case, writer Luke Neal had also infected the script with some of those hideously insincere modern words and expressions which class everyone with a hard-luck story as “vulnerable”.

So we heard Brian Masters, played by the brilliant Jason Watkins, refer to gay men as a “community”, and Tennant’s Nilsen even screaming abuse about “red tops”, in one episode.

A term I don’t remember hearing until the turn of the century. Combined with the lack of cultural references Des was begging for, it meant at no point was I transported back to the year 1983 by the production.

Yet, here’s the truth, I was still transfixed by Des and particularly the performances of Daniel Mays, as DCI Peter Jay, who led the investigation, Ron Cook (DSI Chambers) and Laurie Kynaston, who put in an extraordinary shift as Carl Stottor, the survivor of a Nilsen attack.


The awards, though, probably rightly, will go to Tennant, who absolutely nailed the revolting self-obsession of Nilsen and also mastered the born-to-be-blunt Aberdeenshire accent, which plays havoc with vowels and doesn’t really have a gear for a lot of life’s frivolities.

Nilsen, an aberration of a human being, didn’t deserve such a great performance, obviously, or indeed anything beyond a set of gallows to wipe his memory from history.

But he got the full treatment, including the perfunctory ITV disclaimer which followed Des’s last episode.

“If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in the programme you can go to for more information.”

Or you could just cut out the middle-man and call Dyno-Rod.

Steph's out to lunch

INSTEAD of the longed-for mercy killing, Channel 4 has spent a fortune re-styling The Steph Show as Steph’s Packed Lunch and created a programme that’s every bit as bad as the original and even longer.

Part of the problem is the new setting, a Leeds Dock showroom, with all the charm of a looted estate agent and only one reliable microphone.

6Poor old Steph spends most of her afternoon bellowing questions at a bunch of blood-out-of-a-stone randoms called her 'packed lunch mates'Credit: Channel 4 / Tom Barnes

So poor old Steph spends most of her afternoon bellowing questions at a bunch of blood-out-of-a-stone randoms called her “packed lunch mates”.

“Tom, what’s the worst excuse you’ve ever given for not having sex?”

“I don’t know.”

There are also issues with both the running time and mission state- ment, “100 minutes of positivity”, given it relies on the usual daytime diet of death and disease and even the “cheerful” come-ons sound as if they’ve been dreamt up by a psychopath: “Go to your freezer now and tell me what’s the oldest thing in there?”

Oven chips? Jimmy Hoffa? Half of Steph’s audience?

The unavoidable link between both disasters, though, is the host herself, who cannot command your attention when she’s on-script and starts sounding deranged the moment she goes off it and says things like: “When I go to Gemma Atkinson’s house I’m going to cover myself in dog biscuits.”

Yeah, well we’ve all had that dream, Steph, but you need to avoid thinking out loud and inviting the audience to hunt for “over-priced food”.

Because, for the record, chef James Martin discovered a £170 cheese sandwich, Gemma unearthed a £2,106 pizza and I think I’ve spotted a rotten Packed Lunch that’s cost Channel 4 several million pounds. Beat that.

Will we all protect it?

BRITAIN’S Got Talent. RE: Alesha Dixon: “More than ever it’s important to protect our beautiful planet.”

Does this mean the judges won’t be using a private jet to fly to the Blackpool auditions in future?

Or is it not THAT important?

Terrible tale to 'telle

IF there’s one television show that can be relied on to lift the national mood in a time of crisis it’s not EastEnders, where things never end well for beautiful women.

And sure enough, on Friday night they killed off Chantelle Atkins, who suffered “death by dishwasher”, which is new ground for soap opera deaths and a terrible way to go.

6If there’s one television show that can be relied on to lift the national mood in a time of crisis it’s not EastEndersCredit: BBC

She was shoved on to it, of course, by her abusive partner Gray, who’s now busily trying to cover his tracks and hopefully learning a few important lessons, beyond the obvious: ALWAYS store cutlery with the handle up.

UNBLOCK the rotating spray arms at regular intervals. And SKIP the rinse cycle for heavily soiled dishes.

Elsewhere in this human hell-pit meanwhile, Ian continues to bully Sharon for turning down his advances and there’s fresh news for all three of the viewers who were worried Martin Fowler may have suffered irreversible brain damage after Vinny Panesar poleaxed him with a fire extinguisher.

On Thursday night’s episode he was up and about playing darts in the Queen Vic and declaring his undying love for Ruby Allen.

So it’s far worse than they thought.

Unexpected morons in the bagging area

TIPPING Point, Ben Shephard: “Former US President John F Kennedy was often known by what three-letter abbreviation?”

SJ: “Ted.”

Ben Shephard: “Usually found near water, an osprey belongs to what class of animals?”

Jean: “An ostrich.”

The Chase, Celebrity Special, Bradley Walsh: “Who wrote an article on radium for the Encyclopedia Britannica with her daughter?”

Michelle Ackerley: “Andi Oliver.” (The celebrity chef)

“No. Marie Curie.”

(All contributions gratefully received.)

Lookalikes of the week 6Stephen Mulhern has something of a resemblance to Brad Boimler from Star Trek: Lower Decks.

THIS week’s winner is Stephen Mulhern and Brad Boimler from Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Sent in by R James. Picture research Amy Reading.

Thanks for your observations

INCIDENTALLY, thanks to everyone who wrote in with their observations about Channel 4’s thought-provoking documentary 100 Vaginas, but it was, in fact, a repeat and certainly not to be confused with The Woman With Two Vaginas, who was Claire from Steps on Friday’s One Show.

TV Gold

DAVID Tennant and all the other actors who lifted ITV’s Des out of the mire.

Harry Hill’s World Of TV, on BBC2.

6Steph’s Packed Lunch which has at least highlighted the twisted genius of ITV’s This Morning Phillip SchofieldCredit: Getty Images - Getty

Sky Atlantic’s Wicker-Man-in-Essex yarn The Third Day, with Jude Law, doing just about enough to make me watch the second episode.

And Steph’s Packed Lunch which, if it’s served any purpose at all, has at least highlighted the twisted genius of ITV’s This Morning, summed up by this question from Phillip Schofield, last week: “Charley, your relationship was predicted by a talking psychic horse. What are your thoughts?”

Great spoorting insights

DAVE Jones: “That talking has got to stop but let’s discuss this some more.”

Paul Merson: “United are the biggest football team in the world, in whatever sport.”

Gary Cotterill: “We must never use cliches, especially on TV. But it’s the morning after the night before.” 

(Compiled by Graham Wray)

Random TV irritations

BBC NEWS anchor Sophie Raworth sounding proud of the fact her bosses pay Zoe Ball a staggering £1.6million a year.

Supermarket Sweep spoilsports introducing some sort of stupidity threshold for its new contestants.

6Sophie Raworth sounded proud of the fact BBC bosses pay Zoe Ball a staggering £1.6m a year-3Credit: Getty Images - Getty

The genuinely sad irony of Piers Morgan writing an anti-woke book while in the process of turning his screen partnership into breakfast TV’s version of Meghan & Harry.

And Channel 4 extending Steph’s Packed Lunch to a spirit-crushing 100 minutes every Monday to Friday, which is the exact equivalent of Hollywood presenting us with Howard The Duck: The Director’s Cut.

TV Quiz

WHO said the following earlier this month? “We’ve got three meerkats who need castrating.”

A) The Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton.

B) The Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority, David Currie.

I’ll accept both.

Great TV lies and delusions of the week

GOOD Morning Britain, Chunk: “By the time we get to Christmas I will be a lean machine.”

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The Chase, Celebrity Special, Bradley Walsh: “Michelle (Ackerley), you’re a better player than that.”

Steph’s Packed Lunch, the host: “Today’s failure can become tomorrow’s success.”

Wanna bet?

David Tennant's Dennis Nilsen reveals where the bodies of his victims are to stunned police officers in Des

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