LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday held off a planned easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England after an increase in infections magnified fears of a 2nd deadly rise in COVID-19 cases.
Individuals use protective masks as they stroll through Manchester as the city and the surrounding area deals with regional limitations in an effort to avoid a regional lockdown being required upon the location amid the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) break out in Britain, July 31,2020 REUTERS/Phil Noble
Just hours after Britain imposed tougher measures on swathes of northern England, Johnson announced that casinos, bowling streets and skating rinks, due to resume on Saturday, would stay shut for at least two more weeks.
Wedding receptions would also not be enabled.
” We’re now seeing a caution light on the dashboard,” Johnson informed press reporters at an online press conference from Downing Street when asked about a second surge.
” Our assessment is that we ought to now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.”
Britain’s death toll from COVID-19 is over 55,000 when deaths from thought cases are included, and it has the highest “excess death” rate in Europe.
The abrupt stop to the relax and the imposition of more stringent restrictions on more than 4 million individuals were the biggest turnaround to date in Britain’s path out of lockdown.
” I know that the actions we are taking will be a real blow to many people,” Johnson added. “I am truly, actually sorry about that however we just can not take the danger.”
‘ NEAR THE LIMITATIONS’
As the world comes to grips with a possible second wave, Johnson said the infection was collecting speed in Asia and Latin America while continental Europe was struggling to keep it under control.
The virus, which first emerged in China, has actually currently killed at least 670,000 individuals and battered the worldwide economy.
Britain reported 846 brand-new cases on Thursday, the highest everyday number in over a month.
UK researchers are no longer positive the recreation number in England is listed below 1, the government said on Friday, meaning the epidemic might be growing again.
A separate study also revealed infections were on the rise for the first time since May.
” Proof from Europe indicates that we need to take the obvious increase seriously, as acting too late can make lockdowns longer and increase mortality,” said Daniel Lawson, lecturer in statistical science at the University of Bristol.
” The UK is plainly near the tipping point in which the infection grows … We should be gotten ready for additional quick action to prevent the infection from getting out of control once again.”
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, speaking together with Johnson, stated the government had most likely reached the limitations of reopening.
” We all understand that what we have to try and do is to get to the absolute edge of what we can do in terms of opening society and the economy without specifying where the infection begins to take off once again,” he stated.
” We have probably reached near the limitations, or the limitations, of what we can do in terms of opening up society.”
Composing by Man Faulconbridge, Kate Holton and Alistair Smout; Additional reporting by Andy MacAskill; Editing by Nick Macfie and Andrew Cawthorne