LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday enacted a dire new national lockdown, as Britain’s desperate race to vaccinate its population eradicated the rapidly spreading risk of coronovirus, the country’s The deranged was on track to eliminate hospitals.
After a number of horrifyingly high and growing cases for several days, Mr. Johnson ordered schools and colleges in England to close their doors and transfer to distance education. He appealed to the Britishers to remain at home for all, but some essential purposes, including necessary work and buying food and medicines.
A nationwide ban until at least mid-February, officials have warned.
The decision was a fresh setback for Mr Johnson, at a time when the path out of the crisis appeared after nine frightening months after two vaccines arrived and he was sharply criticized for dealing with the epidemic.
The first vaccine developed that day AstraZeneca and Oxford University Administered, the good news was drowned out by the type of widespread prohibition breeding used last spring when the epidemic first threatened to spiral out of control.
In recent weeks, new, Highly variable version The virus has caught on in London and southeastern England, which is likely to increase alarming numbers, close to 60,000 a day, and put hospitals under intense pressure.
On Sunday, Mr. Johnson admitted that current controls over daily life were insufficient. But the first declaration of a full-scale lockout came not from England, but from Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon constantly tried to subdue the epidemic.
Speaking in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said people in mainland Scotland would be required to stay home and work from where possible, while places of worship would be closed and schools largely operated by distance education.
Mr Johnson said after declaring the lockout in England on Monday evening that many had predicted it was inevitable.
“It is clear that we need to do more to get this new version under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” Mr Johnson said in a television address.
Although there may be some difficulties even after a few weeks, he said that he believes that Britain is “entering the final phase of the conflict, because with every blow that goes into our arms, we are against Kovid And are leaning in favor of the British people. “
People in England were being encouraged to follow the new rules immediately, although some new restrictions would not be given legal force until Wednesday morning and there is likely to be a vote in Parliament that would be called back the same day is.
Ministers were celebrating Deployment of astraZeneca vaccine, Which is not only cheaper than the one from Pfizer-BioNTech, but is also very easy to store. He said it could help turn the tide in Britain’s fight against the virus.
But Britain is involved in a high-stakes race to carry out its massive vaccination program, before the country’s over-healthcare gets overwhelmed by the new version. Already, non-covid treatment is being postponed again, and images of ambulances in the parking of some hospitals last week exemplified the challenge facing the country’s tired health workers.
The government has warned its Kovid at its highest level for the first time, that “the physical risk of health care services is being reduced.” The hospitals had more than 26,000 Kovid-19 patients on Monday, a 30 percent increase from the previous week, Mr. Johnson’s office said. Cases are increasing rapidly across the country.
Mr. Johnson has set an ambitious goal for the country’s vaccine drive: administering the first dose of vaccine in the most vulnerable areas of the population by mid-February. If the government achieves this, he said, it may start lifting restrictions.
Most Britons already face strict restrictions on everyday life. Unsourced stores, pubs and restaurants are already closed in most parts of England, where the toughest rules prohibit residents in areas mixing in between homes.
Now, all parts of England will be under those streams, and schools will remain closed for most pupils.
Some restrictions, however, would be slightly lower than those imposed last March, when the virus was marching indelibly through Europe and the country.
This time, people in England would be allowed to meet each other to exercise together outside, and the playgrounds would be open. Elite professional football matches will continue, although some matches have recently been canceled after players became infected.
For critics, Monday’s events portrayed Mr. Johnson’s tendency Postpone judgment until the last moment, To balance public health issues with the concerns of many in his ruling Conservative Party about the devastating impact on the economy.
On Sunday, Mr Johnson warned that after a BBC interview that new sanctions were likely, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keer Starr, immediately called for new national sanctions.
But on Monday morning Mr Johnson initially resisted being forced to make a quick decision, insisting, as he visited the hospital, that the government was still already measuring the impact of the toughest level of sanctions was. He acknowledged that there were “difficult” weeks to come and said “there was no question” that the drastic measures would be announced “in due time”.
Even within his own Conservative Party, along with Jeremy Hunt, a senior lawmaker and former health secretary, increased pressure on Twitter to write that it was “time to act”, and “schools, borders To shut down, and immediately ban all domestic mixtures. ” “
Mr Hunt said the essential lesson in dealing with the epidemic was that “countries that act quickly and decisively save lives and bring their economies back to normal speed”.
Medical experts said Mr Johnson had little choice but to take more drastic measures given the rapid spread of the new version. Some people said that the Prime Minister was already behind the curve, seeing how many cases and hospital admissions had skyrocketed last week.
“She is already late,” said Devi Sridhar, head of the global public health program at the University of Edinburgh. The situation is critical with the new version. They need to manage boundaries, stop schools and stop mixing between homes. “
The government’s own scientific advisory panel, known as the SAGE, recommended on 22 December that Britain consider a national lockdown as well as the closure of schools and universities. It said that this version is taking effect in many parts of the country.
New infections have increased at a rate of about 60,000 a day, twice the rate of a few weeks earlier.
Since the beginning of December, hospital admissions in London have doubled every week, wrote Christina Pagel, director of the clinical operational unit at University College London. With 75,024 deaths, the UK has already had the highest number of deaths in Europe, and medical experts warn that once the summer progresses more modestly, it will begin to turn around again.
Others expressed concern over frequent changes in the message from a government, which often appeared to react to rapidly rising events rather than making predictions.
After last year’s national lockdown, the government promised to do all this to keep schools open. But the return of the students on Monday after winter leave came under confusion as some areas where the transition was high were asked to close, while some head teachers decided to do so. In some cases it was because many staff members were ill, in others it was after the report Children may be more vulnerable For newer version than the original virus.
A learning union called for all elementary schools to move toward distance education for the first two weeks of January for classes that cater to families of vulnerable children and key workers.
After days of chaos over school policy, Mr. Johnson reluctantly and confidently stepped in line with that suggestion on Monday.
“Parents whose children were in school today may reasonably ask why we did not take this decision early,” he said, “The answer is simply that we do everything in our power to keep schools open are doing.”