Scientists are still trying to understand the novel Coronavirus which has affected millions of people and still dominating the world. But meanwhile, as some countries plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions, a top scientist in the UK has warned about the third wave of the deadly virus.

A professor at the University of Edinburgh, Mark Woolhouse has warned about the high possibility of the third wave of the pandemic, if a COVID-19 vaccine is not developed within time. He also added that the government should think of other options to control the virus spread before receiving an effective vaccine.

Woolhouse, who is known as one of the top epidemiologists in the UK, made these shocking comments during the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC on Sunday, September 27. He said that another spike in the Coronavirus infection cases in early 2021 is "entirely possible."

"A scenario I mentioned earlier does actually include this possibility [of a third wave] and this is just another demonstration of what I was saying earlier that lockdown doesn't solve the problem, it defers it," he said during the BBC show.

Mark Woolhouse
Mark Woolhouse, The University of Edinburgh Science/AAAS

We Need an Alternative Way

As per Professor Woolhouse, since lockdown would not solve the core issue, the spread of the virus, the world needs "some kind of cavalry on the horizon." If an effective COVID-19 vaccine is still six to 12 months or two years away "it may be that we do need alternatives," said the expert.

While talking about such helpful alternatives he referred to the moonshot program on mass testing. As per professor Woolhouse, who sits on the UK government's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on modeling (SPI-M), he believes that there are possibly other options "on the horizon," and it is high time authorities should start talking about them.

The University of Edinburgh professor also warned that many countries would have to live with the Coronavirus until a vaccine is developed and proven to be safe for human use. Additionally, he said that after talking to people, who are currently involved in the vaccine development process "think that we may have a vaccine in six months but it is doubtful that we will have been able to roll it out on a mass scale by that time. We are in a difficult situation for some months to come I am afraid."

Wuhan Coronavirus
Coronavirus infection spread Twitter / Imran Iftikhar

The comments from professor Woolhouse came around the time when in the UK, experts have been pressurizing the Boris Johnson government to go further than implementing new rules which the authority has set out on Tuesday, September 22.

Many scientists and healthcare experts started to criticize the UK government's new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus that includes 10 pm closing times for pubs and restaurants, £10,000 fines for businesses, and for individuals who will break restrictions as well as stricter rules on masks wearing.