Johnson faces pressure to order Covid-19 lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is beneath mounting strain to order a widespread lockdown after 1000’s of individuals ignored requires “social distancing” to sluggish the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Johnson mentioned he will probably be considering “very, very actively” about what steps to take if folks proceed to collect in massive numbers in defiance of calls to remain aside.

In the meantime letters are going out to 1.5 million folks with underlying well being situations who’re thought of to be essentially the most weak to the coronavirus telling them to remain at dwelling for the subsequent 12 weeks.

The UK loss of life toll from the pandemic rose by 48 in a day to 281 yesterday.

There was anger amongst MPs at scenes over the weekend of crowds flocking to parks, markets, seashores and sweetness spots.

Conservative former Cupboard minister Julian Smith mentioned he would assist “any measure” the federal government introduced ahead to drive folks to adjust to the steering.

For Labour, well being spokesperson Jonathan Ashworth mentioned ministers must be making “speedy preparations” for the “subsequent stage” whereas studying from different European nations.

The calls got here as an 18-year-old was thought to have turn out to be the youngest sufferer of the virus in Britain because the variety of deaths within the UK rose to 281.

There are rising fears that Britain is on an analogous trajectory to Italy – scene of the world’s worst outbreak – the place the loss of life toll handed 5,000 over the weekend.

The Italian authorities was considered one of a variety of European nations to announce new or prolonged restrictions – with Germany banning public gatherings of greater than two folks not from the identical family.

Primrose Hill in London

Mr Johnson warned that the NHS might be “overwhelmed” in the identical approach because the Italian healthcare system has been, if the the unfold of the virus within the UK will not be curbed.

However at his day by day No 10 press convention yesterday, Mr Johnson indicated he was reluctant to ban folks from going exterior for a stroll or to train due to the bodily and psychological well being advantages, so long as they acted responsibly.

The UK authorities later issued up to date steering making clear that important journey didn’t embody visits to “second houses, camp websites, caravan parks or related, whether or not for isolation functions or holidays”.

Nonetheless amongst some MPs there was a transparent temper for firmer motion amid fears that additional delay would value lives.

Mr Smith, the previous Northern Eire secretary, mentioned: “Many individuals have recklessly ignored authorities recommendation this weekend.

“I’ll assist any measure the federal government must drive folks to observe the rules designed to guard NHS employees and UK residents’ lives.”

For Labour, Mr Ashworth mentioned: “We urge the federal government to make speedy preparations for the subsequent stage and study classes from different European nations.

“If voluntary social distancing measures are usually not adhered to, the federal government should convey ahead their plans for stronger motion.”

Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan, who additionally works as an A&E physician at St George’s Hospital in south London, additionally bitterly attacked the G

She mentioned her newest shift had been a “deeply, deeply eye-opening” expertise with beforehand match and wholesome folks of their 30s and 40s “hooked up to machines, preventing for his or her lives”.

“The Prime Minister has been blasé about this from the beginning, ready for others to make selections so he does not need to. It’s costing lives,” she mentioned.

“Sufficient is sufficient. The NHS can not cope and it will not be lengthy earlier than docs have to decide on between who lives and who dies.”

Learn extra: 
Tougher Covid-19 restrictions possible if social distancing not observed, says Harris
New Zealand prepares to enter lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge
Teachers around Ireland are taking on the challenge of remote lessons for students

Whereas folks had been heading to open areas, there have been indicators that metropolis and city centres had been closing down with McDonald’s, John Lewis, Primark and Timpson among the many excessive avenue chains to announce they had been closing their doorways.

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