UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put England on lockdown after Covid-19 cases crossed a milestone in the second wave of infections threatening the health system. On Sunday, new 23,254 cases were reported to bring the total cases to 1,034,914.
The UK has reported 46,717 deaths as a result of Covid-19, the largest than any other European country. For the past consecutive days, the UK has reported over 20,000 cases a day and experts have warned that a worst-case scenario of over 80,000 deaths could be reached.
The lockdown messages were broadcast on social media even before Mr. Johnson made an official announcement on Downing Street. The current nationwide lockdown, which will apply from Thursday morning, will apply until December 2nd.
In the new restrictions, people are only allowed to move out of their homes for specific reasons, including education, exercise, work, medicine, shopping for the essentials, and caring for the vulnerable.
When making the Downing Street announcement, the prime minister said schools, universities, and shops selling essentials would remain open. He also made it clear that top-class sports will continue, but amateur sports for children or adults will be discontinued.
Also, restaurants and pubs will be partially opened on takeaway only, and all non-essential businesses are requested to close.
When Sky News asked senior Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove if there was any way to extend the nationwide lockdown beyond early December, he replied yes.
The Prime Minister said it can be said that the health service will be overwhelmed in ways that can be very difficult to endure if action is not taken right now.
Mr. Johnson, flanked by his Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance, added that the time is now to take action as there is no alternative and they could see deaths in the country.
The government programs, which paid 80 percent of workers’ wages, were supposed to be suspended this Saturday, but they have been extended under the new lockdown. According to experts, expanding the system will be a relief for the people who know they are in a phase of lockdown and need government support.
Covid-19 was seen not only as a health problem but also as a profound financial and economic issue. But the rising cases and resurgence of the second wave of infections in the UK forced an urgency.
This is one of the reasons that forced the Prime Minister to radically reverse his strategy, favoring local bans over nationwide bans.
But in the state where scientists have been warning that the outbreak is headed in the wrong direction and threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system, Boris had no choice but to take effective action to stop the virus from spreading, and this was it, the nationwide lockdown.
England is not the only European country to consider nationwide lockdown. Germany and France have imposed what can be considered severe lockdown restrictions.
Wayne Sims is the Lead Editor for Chroniclex with 12 years of experience. Wayne has been working for Many Large Online Publications for nearly a decade and has published his articles in many prints and digital publications including Erieview Newsstand, Bond Court News and Private Entertainment. When Wayne is not busy writing She likes stitching.