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Second UK lockdown? PM says second wave inevitable, new restrictions possible

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned he didn’t need one other nationwide lockdown however that new restrictions could also be wanted as a result of the nation was dealing with an “inevitable” second wave of COVID-19.

An indication is seen on a bench as safety measure in opposition to the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Mountain Ash, Britain September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Ministers have been on Friday reported to be contemplating a second nationwide lockdown, after new COVID-19 circumstances nearly doubled to 6,000 per day, hospital admissions rose and an infection charges soared throughout components of northern England and London.

That rise in circumstances was a part of a second wave that was now unstoppable, the prime minister mentioned.

“We are now seeing a second wave coming in…It is absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable, that we will see it in this country,” Johnson informed UK media.

Asked about whether or not the entire of the nation ought to brace for a new lockdown, fairly than simply native restrictions, he mentioned: “I don’t want to get into a second national lockdown at all.”

But he didn’t rule out additional nationwide restrictions being introduced in.

“When you look at what is happening, you’ve got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we brought in on Monday,” he mentioned, referring to the ban on gatherings of greater than six individuals.

The United Kingdom has reported the fifth largest variety of deaths from COVID-19 on the earth, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, in line with knowledge collected by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

The UK’s official variety of new optimistic circumstances shot up by almost a thousand on Friday to 4,322, the very best since May 8, after a separate ONS mannequin pointed to about 6,000 new circumstances a day in England within the week to Sept. 10.

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That was up from modelling of 3,200 circumstances per day within the earlier week, with the North West and London seen as hotspots.

Health Minister Matt Hancock known as a second nationwide lockdown a final resort earlier on Friday and when he was asked about it mentioned: “I can’t give you that answer now.”

SPREADING WIDELY ACROSS ALL AGES

The UK mentioned its copy “R” variety of infections has risen to a variety of 1.1-1.4 from final week’s 1.0-1.2.

“We’re seeing clear signs this virus is now spreading widely across all age groups and I am particularly worried by the increase in rates of admission to hospital and intensive care among older people,” mentioned Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England.

“This could be a warning of far worse things to come.”

Britain imposed new COVID laws on the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday. More than 10 million individuals within the United Kingdom are already in native lockdown, and restrictions for hundreds of thousands extra may very well be on the way in which.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan mentioned in a while Friday that it was “increasingly likely” that extra measures would quickly be required in Britain’s largest metropolis. He mentioned he had seen proof in regards to the unfold of the virus in London which was “extremely” regarding.

COVID-19 circumstances started to rise once more in Britain in September, with between 3,000 and 4,000 optimistic checks recorded each day within the final week. This remains to be a way behind France, which is seeing greater than 10,000 new circumstances a day.

“COVID-19 infection rates have increased in most regions, particularly the North West and London,” the ONS mentioned.

The ONS mentioned there had been clear proof of a rise within the variety of individuals testing optimistic aged 2 to 11 years, 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years.

Johnson was criticised by opposition politicians for his preliminary response to the outbreak and the federal government has struggled to make sure enough testing in latest weeks.

Asked by LBC radio why the testing system was such a “shambles”, Hancock mentioned Dido Harding, who’s in control of the system, had executed an “an extraordinary job.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton and Sarah Young; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Mike Collett-White, Philippa Fletcher, William Maclean

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