UK PM Boris Johnson issues 3 warnings if Covid-19 cases spike
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that his government could bring back mandatory wearing of face masks, advise people to work from home (WFH) and, make use vaccine passports compulsory if a spike in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during this winter threatens to overwhelm the National Health Service (NHS), news agency Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Unveiling his winter plan on Tuesday, Johnson told a press conference that he hoped a strengthened vaccination program- beginning from next week and includes booster shots for the over-50s and vaccines for children as young as 12, will be enough to keep Covid-19 under control.
According to a report by the BBC, the winter plan has been divided into two parts — Plan A and Plan B. Under Plan A, which was announced by health secretary Sajid Javid, ministers will encourage the unvaccinated people to take the vaccine dose, provide vaccines to children between 12-15 years and start a booster programme for millions, the BBC report said. The plan will also comprise continuing testing, tracing infections and self-isolating those who have Covid-19, it added.
Under plan B, compulsory vaccine passports might be used for mass events, face masks might be legally mandated in some places, people will be urged to be more cautious and might also be advised to work from home, the above report also said. However, this plan will only be imposed if the NHS is under pressure.
The UK has so far recorded 7,282,810 cases, 134,446 deaths and 5,847,593 recoveries due to the coronavirus disease. On Tuesday, the country saw another high of 26,628 new cases. Despite the daily tally remaining high, the government has regarded the current pandemic pressure on the NHS as “manageable”.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty, said during Tuesday’s press conference that while Covid-19 cases had stabilised to some extent, the UK is approaching the most difficult part of the year, adding the number of infected patients is “drifting up” and variable across the country. “We are entering the winter with this reasonably high level and it wouldn’t take many doubling times to get into trouble,” Whitty further said.
Meanwhile, a person, on the condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg that the government might bring back the legislation to enforce a regional or national lockdown in the UK as a last resort.
Russia on Monday said there was an agreement to evacuate wounded Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. "An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded," news agency Reuters quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying in a statement. Russia attacked the port city of Mariupol – which it now claims to controls – for nearly two months.
The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.
Sweden's Social Democrat minority government on Monday took the formal decision to apply for NATO membership, following in the footsteps of its neighbour Finland in a move that will redraw the geopolitical map of northern Europe. "There is a broad majority in Sweden's parliament for joining NATO," Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said following a debate on security policy in parliament. "The best thing for Sweden and the Swedish population is to join NATO."
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said the island nation's economy was in a precarious condition and that the cash-strapped nation was currently out of petrol. He also proposed privatising the Sri Lanka airlines. “At present, the Sri Lankan economy is extremely precarious. Although the former government's budget projected revenue of SLR 2.3 trillion, SLR 1.6 trillion is the realistic projection of this year's revenue,” the PM said in Colombo.
According to an AFP report, Swedish public support for NATO membership has risen to nearly 50 per cent in the aftermath of the Ukraine war. The situation is the same in Finland, with the AFP report revealing that the number of Finns who want to join NATO has climbed to more than three-quarters - almost triple the level before the Ukraine war.