The British government has its eyes set on preventing a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in its country as the U.K. moves closer to easing restrictions once the crisis has settled, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office said Monday.
Britain has one of the highest infection and death rates from the coronavirus, behind the U.S. and several other European nations. The U.K. has reported 121,174 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 16,060 deaths and 444 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Britain has a population of 66 million.
“The big concern is a second peak, that is what ultimately will do the most damage to health and the most damage to the economy,” the spokesman told Reuters.
His comments come just one day after Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the U.K. is not considering lifting lockdown and social distancing restrictions related to efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Britain has extended its coronavirus-related restrictions for an additional three weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
“If you move too quickly then the virus could begin to spread exponentially again,” the spokesman said. “What we need to be certain of is that if we move to lift some of the social distancing measures, it isn’t going to lead to the virus starting to spread exponentially again.”