Covid-19: New curbs from Monday as UK back at ‘tipping point’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline tougher measures to deal with Covid-19 on Monday after two top government advisers described the situation in UK as “precarious” and a “tipping point” similar to the situation in March.
Peter Horby, chair of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, told the BBC the country is in a “precarious” position, adding that another national lockdown is possible.
Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer, also said on Sunday: “In our national fight against Covid-19, we are at a tipping point similar to where we were in March; but we can prevent history repeating itself if we all act now”.
As of Saturday night, there were 15,166 new coronavirus cases – three times the daily peaks in April and May. There were 81 deaths in the last 24 hours, with hospitals reporting a surge in patients admitted. Overall, there have been 57,347 deaths and 590,844 cases.
Johnson is unlikely to announce a second national lockdown, but tougher rules under a new three-tier system of restrictions in north England are due to be announced in the House of Commons on Monday.
Some of the toughest restrictions are likely in Liverpool, where there has been a surge in recent infections. London is also expected to be placed under new restrictions, mayor Sadiq Khan warned.
Van-Tam said: “Sadly, just as night follows day, increases in deaths will now follow on in the next few weeks. The good news, is that we are much more certain now that children are usually not badly affected by this virus.”
“We now have much-improved testing capabilities, we know in more detail where the disease is, and we have better treatments. Earlier in the year we were fighting a semi-invisible disease, about which we had little knowledge, and it seeded in the community at great speed. Now we know where it is and how to tackle it – let’s grasp this opportunity and prevent history from repeating itself”, he added.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week announced the extension and expansion of a job support scheme from November 1, to last until April 2021, indicating that the government is now assuming that the new set of measures would need to be in place for at least the next six months.