Full Lockdown in England as COVID-19 Cases Cross April Peak
England is seeing a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections, reportedly brought on by the new more infectious variant.
England is set to return to a full coronavirus lockdown, possibly until mid-February, as the country sees a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections, reportedly brought on by the new more infectious variant.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the decision to return to a complete lockdown, on Monday, 4 January, in a televised address. Johnson said that the measures include shutting of primary and secondary schools, and will come into effect on Wednesday.
A similar lockdown was announced in Scotland, which would come into effect from midnight, on Tuesday, in the country.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BRITAIN?
Britain has one of the worst mortality rates from COVID-19 in the world, reported AFP. Therefore, 44 million people, which is three-quarters of the population of England, according to AFP, were already living under the “toughest restrictions".
However, that too hasn’t helped in preventing the spiralling infection rates, largely brought on by the new COVID variant.
Citing Johnson, AFP reported, on Monday that almost 27,000 COVID-positive people were in the hospital. This number is reportedly 40 percent more than the peak of the first wave of the outbreak in the UK, in April 2020.
Further, on last Tuesday, over 80,000 people reportedly tested positive in just 24 hours.
The state-run National Health Service might get overwhelmed within 21 days if no action gets taken, reported AFP, citing observations by four chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
WHAT IS THE LOCKDOWN GOING TO BE LIKE?
The new national lockdown measures are similar to those that were implemented during the first coronavirus lockdown in the UK. These, according to AFP, are:
- closing of schools,
- work from home as much as possible,
- restrictions on leaving home, except for exercise, essential shopping and medical supplies,
- no household mixing.
On the question of annual exams for ages 16 and 18, Johnson informed, according to AFP, that the decision will come in following consultations between the education secretary and qualifications bodies.
According to AFP, Johnson further said he hoped the restrictions could start being removed after the next school holidays in mid-February, and conceded that the weeks ahead "will be the hardest yet".
“With every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people.”Boris Johnson, according to AFP
The Prime Minister, however, also said that he was “encouraged” by the roll out of the two cover vaccines in the country and that the four most vulnerable groups were likely be vaccinated in the next six weeks, AFP reported.
(With inputs from AFP.)
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