After “warning light”, British Prime Minister stops COVID blockade

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed a planned relief from the coronavirus blockade in England on Friday after an increase in infections amplified fears of a second fatal increase in COVID-19 cases.

People wear protective masks as they walk through Manchester as the city and surrounding area face local restrictions in an effort to avoid a forced local blockade in the area amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Britain. , July 31, 2020. REUTERS / Phil Noble

Just hours after Britain imposed tougher measures on strips in the north of England, Johnson announced that casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, which will reopen on Saturday, will remain closed for at least two more weeks. .

Wedding receptions would also not be allowed.

“Now we are seeing a warning light on the dash,” Johnson told reporters at an online news conference from Downing Street when asked about a second increase.

“Our assessment is that now we must press the brake pedal to keep the virus under control.”

The death toll in Britain from COVID-19 is over 55,000 when deaths from suspected cases are included, and it has the highest rate of “excess death” in Europe.

The abrupt interruption of disconnection and the imposition of stricter restrictions on more than 4 million people were the biggest change to date in Britain’s way of getting out of prison.

“I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people,” added Johnson. “I’m really sorry, but we just can’t take the risk.”


As the world faces a possible second wave, Johnson said the virus was accelerating in Asia and Latin America as continental Europe struggled to keep it under control.

The virus, which first emerged in China, has already killed at least 670,000 people and has mistreated the global economy.

Britain reported 846 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily number in more than a month.

Scientists in the UK are no longer confident that the number of reproductions in England is less than 1, the government said on Friday, which means the epidemic could be growing again.

A separate survey also showed that infections were on the rise for the first time since May.

“Evidence from Europe implies that we should take the apparent increase seriously, as acting too late can prolong blockages and increase mortality,” said Daniel Lawson, professor of statistical science at the University of Bristol.

“The UK is clearly close to the tipping point at which the infection grows … We must be prepared for further rapid action to prevent the infection from spiraling out of control again.”

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England medical director Chris Whitty, speaking alongside Johnson, said the government had probably reached the limits of reopening.

“We all know that what we have to try and do is get to the absolute edge of what we can do in terms of opening up society and the economy without getting to the point where the virus starts to take off again,” he said. .

“We have probably come close to the limits, or limits, of what we can do in terms of opening up society.”

Written by Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton, and Alistair Smout; Additional reporting by Andy MacAskill; Editing by Nick Macfie and Andrew Cawthorne

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