Home Health News England goes into new lockdown as COVID-19 variant rampages

England goes into new lockdown as COVID-19 variant rampages

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered England into a new nationwide lockdown to comprise a surge in COVID-19 circumstances that threatens to overwhelm elements of the health system earlier than a vaccine programme reaches a vital mass.

The announcement got here simply hours after the federal government hailed Britain’s success in turning into the primary nation to start rolling out the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca in opposition to COVID-19.

Johnson stated a new, extra contagious variant of the coronavirus first recognized within the United Kingdom and now present in lots of different international locations was spreading at nice pace and instant motion was wanted to sluggish it down.

“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than any time since the start of the pandemic,” Johnson stated in a televised handle to the nation.

“With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control,” he stated.

“We must therefore go into a national lockdown, which is tough enough to contain this variant. That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”

Non-essential outlets and hospitality must stay closed, whereas main and secondary colleges would shut from Tuesday for all pupils besides weak youngsters and people whose mother and father are key employees.

Johnson stated the disruption meant it will not be potential for all exams to go forward this summer time — the second tutorial yr in a row by which the pandemic has performed havoc with pupils’ training and future plans.

Johnson stated that if the vaccine rollout went as deliberate and the variety of deaths responded to the lockdown measures as anticipated, it must be potential to start transferring out of lockdown by the center of February.

However, he urged warning in regards to the timetable and appealed to everybody to adjust to the principles.

Britain’s financial system suffered a historic crash of almost 20% within the April-June interval of 2020 as swathes of enterprise have been shuttered by the primary lockdown.

The new measures, which permit firms such as building corporations to stay open, might price about 10% of financial output for as lengthy as they final, stated Julian Jessop, a fellow on the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think-tank.


As Britain grapples with the world’s sixth highest loss of life toll and circumstances hit a new excessive, the nation’s chief medical officers stated the unfold of COVID-19 risked overwhelming elements of the health system inside 21 days.

The surge in circumstances has been pushed by the new variant of COVID-19, officers say, and whereas they acknowledge that the pandemic is spreading extra shortly than anticipated, they are saying there’s additionally mild on the finish of the tunnel – vaccinations.

Johnson’s authorities earlier touted a scientific “triumph” as Britain turned the primary nation on this planet to start inoculating folks with photographs of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dialysis affected person Brian Pinker, 82, acquired the primary vaccination outdoors of a trial.

“I am so pleased to be getting the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” stated the retired upkeep supervisor, just some hundred metres from the place the vaccine was developed.

But even with the vaccines being rolled out, the variety of COVID-19 circumstances and deaths hold rising.

More than 75,000 folks within the United Kingdom have died from COVID-19 inside 28 days of a constructive check for the reason that start of the pandemic. A document 58,784 new circumstances of the coronavirus have been reported on Monday.

Moving a couple of hours forward of Johnson, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon imposed probably the most stringent lockdown for Scotland since final spring.

The devolved administration in Wales stated all colleges and faculties there ought to transfer to on-line studying till Jan. 18.

Additional reporting by Estelle Shirbon, Alistair Smout and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Gareth Jones

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