AN OXFORD scientist has claimed a 'second wave' of coronavirus in the UK has led to a surge in demand for tests.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, has been overseeing the Government’s antibody test programme and advising ministers.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, he said: “I think what’s going wrong is the second wave.

“A month ago they had spare capacity in testing – significant spare capacity – but I think what has been underestimated was the speed at which the second wave would arrive, but also the pressure put on the system from children returning to school, and the testing demands associated with that, and people increasingly out and about.

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“So, I think they are definitely behind the curve in terms of getting the necessary tests for what we need today.”

Sir John said there would be a 'significant increase' in testing capacity over the next two weeks.

He added: “But this will get worse because of course we haven’t hit winter yet – we haven’t all started to sniffle, get fevers, get colds, and that’s going to add additional confusion to the problem.

“The demand will go up. The real question is whether they can get supply in a position where it can outpace demand, and that’s the challenge at the moment.”