World News – GB – Boris Johnson ‘considering second nationwide lockdown’ after frightening warnings over number of coronavirus deaths in winter


A second month-long national lockdown is expected to save Christmas, following publication of spooky scientific papers predicting coronavirus dying this winter could exceed 85,000 considered in the government’s « worst case scenario »

Boris Johnson reportedly held meetings with senior cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock to consider the best way forward, as his three-tier regional strategy for England failed to work

The Times and Daily Mail reported that the Prime Minister will hold a press conference on Monday to announce a new nationwide shutdown starting as early as Wednesday and running through December 1

It is understood that the measures envisaged include the closure of everything except essential shops and educational establishments, including nurseries, schools and universities

But other reports cite sources from Whitehall as saying that a level 4 option of enhanced regional measures was also on the table, potentially all pubs and restaurants and possibly non-essential stores, but without following the home education type seen in spring

A prominent member of the Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), Wellcome Trust Director Sir Jeremy Farrar, said: “Unfortunately, there is no longer an easy path, just the less bad option To bring Covid-19 under control, we must act now The virus will not wait for us « 

The plan has not been confirmed by Downing Street and it is understood that no final decision has yet been made

The Prime Minister will have seen Sage’s diaries published today a fortnight or more ago, but he has so far resisted pressure to change course

Documents showed that as early as October 8, Sage warned that the number of infections and hospitalizations in England had already surpassed the worst-case scenario for the winter on which government policy was based, and that the deaths were likely to breach this threshold within two weeks

They warned it was now too late to roll out the two-week breaker shutdown that scientists recommended in September as a way to bring the virus under control

« Sage has already indicated that a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions [lockdown-type measures] must be adopted to reverse the exponential rise in cases As before, the sooner additional measures are introduced the more effective they will be. Longer-term sustainable measures will also be essential « 

M Johnson has said repeatedly over the past few weeks that he does not want to revert to national restrictions, which he said would be « completely bad for the country » and « disastrous » for the economy

He rejected Sage’s plan for a two-week ‘breaker’ in September or October – possibly coinciding with the school semester Labor and Liberal Democrats have backed a time-limited blackout, while severe restrictions have been imposed across Wales and much of Scotland

And Chancellor M Sunak warned of the terrible impact that a return to strict restrictions on social and business activities would have on the economy

As late as Friday morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab still insisted that the three-tier strategy was the best approach

But there are few signs of the regional approach that has turned the tide on Covid-19, despite millions entering level 3 restrictions in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, the South and West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire

Earlier this week, public health expert Dr Gabriel Scally of the University of Bristol told The Independent that a two or three week shutdown would give Mr. Johnson the possibility of authorizing a two or three day ‘amnesty’ to allow families to come together for Christmas

Sir Jeremy said today there is now an urgent need to bring the crucial reproduction rate of the virus – known as R – below the threshold at which it begins to spread exponentially

« The best time to act was a month ago, but these are very difficult decisions that we would all like to avoid, » he said.

« The second best time is now The sooner we get the disease under control, reduce transmission, reduce R below 1, the faster we can get our society back to normal & the economy back on track

« No one wants a lockdown, myself very inclusive. Comprehensive and generous support to individuals and businesses is a crucial part of making this work

« But we quickly broke the reasonable worst-case scenario, we are further into this phase of the epidemic than many assumed… We must act now »

M Johnson has invited the leaders of the decentralized administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to a summit to agree on a common approach to Christmas, potentially bringing together rules which currently vary widely between the four countries of the UK. United

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford revealed he had received a letter from the Prime Minister earlier this week, but no date for the meeting had been finalized

Labor shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: « We are in an extremely serious situation with the coronavirus spreading with ferocity

« Boris Johnson should have used the school semester for a time-limited blackout to reduce infections, fix & Trace test and save lives

« Boris Johnson urgently needs to describe the steps he will take now to bring the virus under control and deliver on his promise to quickly bring R below 1 »

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Coronavirus, UK, Lockdown, Boris Johnson

World News – GB – Boris Johnson ‘considering second nationwide lockdown’ after frightening warnings over death toll coronavirus in winter



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