A CARLISLE-based academic has played down the chances of a second spike in coronavirus cases as the Government eases the country out of lockdown.

Dr John Campbell, 62, is a retired nurse teacher and A&E nurse who now spends his time studying and educating people on all forms of healthcare.

The academic has studied diseases all his life and his lectures have been watched more than 50 million times on YouTube in the last three months.

"However much you ease lockdown it will increase the number of cases," he explained.

"With the degree we are easing at the minute the Government is trying to titrate (monitor and adjust the balance) the number of cases with the availability of NHS services.

"There will be an increase. The more you ease the lockdown, the more transmission there is going to be. At the moment there are 9,400 new cases per day according to the Covid tracker app, but there will start to be more new cases."

Despite predicting an increase of cases due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, Dr Campbell is damping down fears about a second spike in cases if the Government follows its current trajectory.

"We can expect 10,000 to 12,000 new cases a day in the UK, with 500 of those becoming quite sick. We can manage that. 15 per cent of those cases will fall pretty ill and 5-10 per cent may need hospital care.

"If you eased the lockdown completely you would move towards a second spike and a dramatic increase in the R number (the average number of people an infected person will infect).

"For example, if one whole family can visit another whole family at home; we returned to normal levels of public transport; and reopening of pubs and restaurants would all increase the number of cases."

From June 15 face masks are to become mandatory on public transport, but Dr Campbell, who lives on Lowry Hill Road in the city is keen to raise awareness on the effectiveness of masks.

"The WHO says they offer a small degree of protection for the person wearing the mask, but for those who are infected, it would give a large degree of protection from those around the infected person.