COVID-19: calls for total closure in the UK
On Tuesday, requests have been made to the British Government to impose a complete new shutdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic following a shower of criticism for ignoring recommendations from experts and the scientific community three weeks ago. Doctors and the World Health Organization had asked for the restrictions to be tightened to curb the acceleration in the number of infections.
The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, has called for two to three weeks of lockdown to break the cycle and slow the rate of contagions, noting that the government has lost control over the epidemic by ignoring suggestions from scientific experts who have asked, on September 21, strict measures, Agence France-Presse reported this morning.
In front of the Parliament, Health Minister Matt Hancock said that the government has taken no action on most of the points of a range of measures proposed by the scientific committee that could be applied to contain the virus, including the total closure of the country, because of concerns for the economic repercussions as well as the effects on public health.
Ahead of a session to vote on a new restrictions package announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, the minister said: “We make science-led decisions and take various considerations into account.” Earlier, Johnson announced a three-tier warning system that ranks regions of England based on infection rates, to facilitate the complex network of local controls.
The city of Liverpool in the northwest of England was the first area to be classified as “high risk” under the new system. For which a ban on gatherings has been imposed between the residents.Its bars will be closed from Wednesday for at least four weeks. In a press conference at Government House, UK chief medical consultant Chris Whitty, alongside Johnson, said he was “not confident” that the recent measures announced by the Prime Minister could halt the upward trajectory of the epidemic.
On Tuesday, the UK recorded 17,234 new cases and 143 deaths from Covid-19. This is the first time the epidemic’s death toll has crossed the 100 mark since last July. Whitty urged local officials in regions most affected by the virus to do more. To make matters worse for Johnson, the publication of the report and recommendations from scientific experts. On September 21, the Government Scientific advisory group on emergencies (SIG) presented ministers with a mini-list of measures to combat the virus to be applied immediately.
These measures included the closure of bars, restaurants, cafes, sports clubs, and personal services such as hairdressing salons, preventing families who do not live together from meeting. For universities and colleges, experts suggested continuing activities online teaching. Johnson took only one of the five recommendations, urging people to work from home.
His spokesman said Tuesday that the group recommends taking into account the economic repercussions of any measure and associated damage, and that’s exactly what the Prime Minister, Health Minister, counsellors, and colleagues have done. Johnson has been criticized by the Labor leader, who said that the imposition of a new global lockdown is an opportunity to correct some of the mistakes made by Johnson since the beginning of the pandemic.
“If we follow the science and break the cycle, we can keep this virus under control. If we don’t, we could find ourselves in a bleak winter,” he said. Britain remains the European country most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a death toll exceeding 43,000 and the number of patients in hospitals higher than when the closure was imposed on March 23.