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COVID-19: UK GOVERNMENT IS UNDER PRESSURE TO LOCKDOWN ENGLAND

The UK government is under increasing pressure to introduce stricter nationwide coronavirus restrictions in England as cases continue to rise. Dominic Harrison, Blackburn director of public health at Darwen Borough Council, today criticized the government's tiered restriction system and called for an immediate three-week national lockdown.

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“We’re going to need much tighter controls that look a lot more like the first full lockdown and a lot more like what France is doing,” Harrison said Guardian.

Jeremy Farrar, a member of the government’s scientific advisory group on emergencies (SAGE), told the BBC A UK lockdown should have already taken place and it definitely needs to be now. More than a month ago, SAGE recommended that the UK government impose two weeks Locking the circuit breaker in England while schools were kept open but the government chose not to follow advice. Farrar said any further delay will be costly and mean that subsequent restrictions will be “tougher and longer”. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4 today that the government is “Strive to Avoid a Second Nationwide Lockdown”. He said the “overwhelming scientific advice” to the government was that local lockdowns were “the way to go”.
The UK is in the midst of a pandemic second wave.

And while the first saw all four UK nations enter a national totalitarian lockdown, this time restrictions across the British Isles look different.

Wales has opted for a two-week fire-break lockdown, designed to disrupt the chain of coronavirus infections in order to ensure hospitals are not overwhelmed. This started on October 23 and will come to an end on November 3.

The infection rate in Wales , as of October 28, is 233 per 100,000 cases over a seven day rolling average.

Northern Ireland has opted for something similar, closing pubs and restaurants in a partial lockdown, which only allows people from two households to meet. The restrictions began on October 16 and are in place for a four week period.

The infection rate in Northern Ireland stands at 362.9 positive cases per 100,000, based on the time frame between October 19-25.

England and Scotland have opted for a tiered system. In England there are up to three tiers where different restrictions apply in local areas and Scotland there are four tiers.

The strictest tier in England (Tier 3) still allows shops to open, but mixing is restricted to just one other household and pubs can only open if they sell “substantial meals”.

The infection rate in Scotland for the last seven days (up to October 28) is 132.1 positive cases per 100,000 people.

In Scotland, the strictest tier, (Tier 4) will see all non-essential retail close as well as gyms.

In England , on Thursday the daily update saw 19,740 new coronavirus cases reported along with 214 new deaths.

The infection rate in England, as of October 24 (the most recent data available, stands at 225.9 positive cases per 100,000 people for in the last seven days.

The spread of the virus in England exceeded the government’s predicted “reasonable worst-case scenario” in one SAGE report dated October 14th, published today. The government’s scientific advisory group estimated that between 43,000 and 74,000 people were infected with the virus daily in England by mid-October. “This is well above the profile of the reasonable worst-case scenario, where the number of daily infections in England ranged from 12,000 to 13,000 throughout October,” the report said.

Other coronavirus news

France will impose a second nationwide lockdown starting Friday, which will last at least until the end of November. In France, 706 per 100,000 people are infected with coronavirus, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Blackburn has the highest infection rate in England with 740 cases per 100,000 people. ECDC numbers suggest that the total case rate for the UK is currently 437.7 per 100,000 people.

Russia’s coronavirus vaccine candidate Sputnik V could be made available to the public in Moscow already in NovemberThe city’s deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said today on Russia 24 television channel. According to the developer, around 9,000 people in Moscow have received doses of the vaccine candidate as part of an ongoing study. However, mass vaccination of the public is not yet possible because the required doses of vaccine have not yet been dispensed, Rakova said.

Coronavirus infections in the US jumped 91,248 in a single day, a record daily increase for the country. Record increases in the daily number of hospital patients have been recorded in 17 states.

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