People in England will return to a full lockdown until mid-February, in order to cut down the spiraling infection rates, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. The UK would remain under constraints until mid-February, to fight a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.
The precautionary measures have led to the closure of primary and secondary schools, which will come into force by Wednesday, he said in a televised address. Prior to the lockdown announcement in England, Scotland had already announced similar measures that would come into force from midnight at 12 am on Tuesday.
Some 44 million people or three-quarters of the population of England are already living under the toughest restrictions, as Britain grapples with one of the worst mortality rates from coronavirus in the world. The UK has failed to stop the rising positive cases, which have been blamed on a more infectious new variant.
Johnson said that the people must stay at home again, as they were ordered to do so during the first wave of the pandemic in March, previous year, as this time the new virus variant was spreading in a “frustrating and alarming” way. “As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” he said in a televised address.
The respective measures were taken that from Tuesday, primary and secondary schools and colleges will be closed except for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils. The students studying at the University will not be returning until at least mid-February. The people and the professionals were asked to work from home unless it’s impossible to do so. Johnson said that almost 27,000 Covid patients people were in the hospital on Monday which is -40 percent more than the numbers during the peak of the first wave of the outbreak in April last year.
“With every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against Covid and in favor of the British people,” he added.
“I know all these things will be under consideration with decisions potentially imminent,” Hunt tweeted. “My point is, in the face of exponential growth, even waiting an extra day causes many avoidable deaths, so these plans must now be urgently accelerated.”
The new measures would need to be in place for only about 12 weeks until enough people had been vaccinated against coronavirus, Hunt said, adding: “So there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
He wrote: “To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as health sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those”. “It’s true that we often had to cancel elective care in Jan to protect emergency care, but that too is under severe pressure, with record trolley waits for the very sickest patients. Even more worryingly, fewer heart attack patients appear to be presenting in ICUs, perhaps because they are not dialing 999 when they need to.”
Due to increasing infection rates of Covid 19 strain in the country, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said, “We are relieved the government has finally bowed to the inevitable and agreed to move schools and colleges to remote education in response to alarming COVID infection rates”. The UK government has raised its Covid alert to its highest level for the first time, warning of a material risk of health care services that are being infected.