UK Covid restrictions could return after three weeks, scientists warn
- Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned the UK government to be prepared to reimpose restrictions.
Several coronavirus restrictions could be reintroduced in England after three weeks if hospital admission rises above expected levels, scientists advising the government on the pandemic have reportedly warned. Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned the government to be prepared to reimpose restrictions amid record hospitalisations in nearly five months, reported inews.
According to NHS England, 752 hospital admissions were reported on July 19, the day virtually all restrictions were removed in Britain. While hospitalisations are still well below the peak of the second Covid wave, the exponential rise in infections largely driven by the highly contagious Delta variant is pushing the admissions towards worrying levels.
The UK reported 44,104 new Covid-19 cases and 73 related deaths on Wednesday, taking the total infections over 5.56 million. Earlier this week, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said the hospitalisations were doubling roughly every three weeks. During a webinar hosted by the Science Museum, Whitty said that the country was not “out of the woods” by any means and the hospitalisations could escalate in the next couple of months.
"It doesn't take many doublings until we're in actually quite scary numbers again ... I don't think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast," Whitty said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government removed coronavirus restrictions even as experts and scientists from around the world kept warning against the move. They said that Britain’s plan to kick off the final phase of the four-step roadmap out of the lockdown amid the third Covid wave could be a threat to the world.
The Delta variant now accounts for more than 75% of Covid-19 cases in several countries including India, Australia, Britain, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Russia, and China among others, according to a weekly epidemiological update by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In a move that may have an impact on the terms of the growing Russia-India energy partnership - India has enhanced import of Russian energy since the war in Ukraine began as energy prices spiral - the G7 countries are considering imposing “price caps” on Russia's oil to dilute revenue inflows to Moscow. The West has alleged that these inflows are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin finance the war in Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a summit of the Group of Seven rich democracies on Monday there would be no return to the times before Russia's attack on Ukraine, which had ushered in long-term changes in international relations. "It is good, important and necessary that we talk to each other. Listening to each other creates mutual understanding and makes our work easier," he said.
Leonardo Del Vecchio, the Italian entrepreneur who transformed the tiny optics workshop he started in the Dolomite mountains into the undisputed world leader in eyewear and amassed one of the biggest fortunes in his country along the way, has died. The rise brought Del Vecchio the second-largest fortune is Italy -- after the chocolate-making Ferrero family -- with a net worth was $25.7 billion as of June 1, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Russian shelling of the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine killed four people and wounded 19 on Monday, the regional governor said. There was no immediate comment from Russia, which denies targeting civilians. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. "Doctors are providing all the necessary assistance. Information on the number of victims is being updated," Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said on the Telegram messaging app.
The Public Security Directorate said a gas tank sprung a leak while being transported. It did not identify the contents of the tanker. The directorate said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured to hospitals and sent specialists in to deal with the leak. The directorate said 10 people were killed and 251 injured. A local health official, Dr. Jamal Obeidat, urged people to stay inside and close windows and doors.