July 31, 2020 / 12:00 PM / 14 days ago

COVID-19 surge? Warning light is flashing, Johnson says

British Prime Minster Boris Johnson applies hand sanitiser during a visit to North Yorkshire Police to meet with recently graduated police officers in Northallerton, Britain July 30, 2020. Charlotte Graham/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that a recent uptick in infections was a “warning light” which means he has to hit the brakes on the easing of lockdown as he postponed the re-opening of close-contact services for at least two weeks.

“I’ve said throughout the pandemic that there would be fresh outbreaks,” Johnson said at a news conference, asked if there could be a surge in infections.

“I said we would not hesitate to put on the brakes at the slightest sign that the numbers were going in the wrong direction. We’re now seeing a warning light on the dashboard.”

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said it wasn’t sensible to think of the uptick in infections as a second wave.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Sarah Young, writing by Alistair Smout

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