Lockdown Extended In UK With The Threat Of New COVID-19 Variant

New Super Spreading COVID-19 Strain In The UK

On Sunday, the UK’s Health Minister alerted the public that a rigorous lockdown has been enforced on Southeast England & London and may extend for a few months as a novel strain of coronavirus has gotten out of control. 

Boris Johnson, UK’s Prime Minister proclaimed on Saturday that Christmas plans should be canceled by millions of people and they must stay at their house from Sunday as the new COVID-19 strain was infecting others relatively at a faster rate. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, in addition, cautioned about the strict steps to stay put till the vaccine for the virus is completely distributed, which could affect about one-third of England’s citizens. 

Hancock reported in Sky News that they took a rapid and critical step in letting people know about the crisis and ordered them to stay at home and banning family gatherings during Christmas and shutting down dispensable shops. Sadly, the new strain was spreading fastly and getting out of control. They have to get virus infections under control.

About 16.4 million citizens or England’s 31%  of the population have stepped into the tier four actions from Sunday. They are restricted from family meetups for Christmas, while for the rest of the nation, only confined households are permitted to gather on just Christmas day alone, in contrast to the 5 days suggested before. 

Hancock claimed that the condition was extremely grave. It is going to be really hard to contain the virus until they have introduced the vaccine shots. This is what they have to combat in the coming months. 

The UK anticipates to attain an amount of half a million vaccines by the weekend, the Health minister mentioned. Stringent measures would be taken for individuals who make heedless decisions that jeopardize their lives. 

Many other regions in the UK also made stringent rules for this. Wales has announced a strict lockdown commencing from Sunday, whereas Scotland implemented travel bans for both to and from other places of the UK for Christmas and declared that they will increase the police troop twice as much along the English boundaries. Northern Ireland and Scotland are planning to initiate a new lockdown on December 26. Northern Ireland has expected to launch more actions on Sunday. 

Susan Hopkins, Public Health, England explained to Sky News that the first discovery of the new strain was in September in an affected individual by researchers. She informed that researchers by November noted that the new variant was found to be the cause of a cluster of disease cases in Kent which was further spread to Essex and London and later on they reported it to the government on December 11. She added that the Public Health, England afterward informed the government again on Friday as the modeling disclosed the complete graveness of the new variant. She corroborated the estimates provided by Johnson that the new strain may be over 70% contagious as they were mentioning this was the first estimate. She specified that she believes 70% seems to be a good amount to have at present. Hopkins also said that the virus has been observed in almost all areas of England but in very few numbers. 

Hancock expressed that similar conditions have also been observed in both Europe and Australia.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, discussed on Saturday that the new variant had 23 distinct features, even the way in which the virus attaches to human cells and invades them.  

Simon Clarke, Associate Professor, Cellular Microbiology, University of Reading, reported to AFP  that the genetic alterations influence the spike protein present in the virus, which the vaccine targets. He verified that if they observe the modifications made to form the spike protein, which is the vaccine-target, then they don’t think that is adequate to transform the efficacy of the immune shots. 

Sadiq Khan, London mayor briefed Sky News that London currently has an identical number of affected individuals with the virus in the topmost level of the initial occurrence in April. Cases have further developed quickly within those in the age group of 10-19  

PM worried

This serious case stirred extensive criticism of the PM for assuring the previous week not to stop Christmas celebrations. 

The Sunday Mirror weekly informed that a clear understanding of this mutant was not provided. However, this vagueness must have been sufficient for the Prime Minister to find that this was the appropriate time to cancel Christmas. 

Keir Starmer, the head of the Opposition Labour Party blamed Johnson of being afraid of implementing such despised plans. 

Mostly London’s Oxford Street is crowded with Christmas purchasers but was nearly abandoned on Sunday. Few bystanders mentioned that they supported this measure. David, a 59-year-old insurance worker said that it was cardinal to execute it beforehand, and assuring wild pledges has not ameliorated the condition any further. Although another man Richard Charles, a service industry worker, 32 years old, pointed out that this action was pointlessly rushed. He also said that it must not be some kind of decree that occurs overnight. 

New COVID-19 Strain in the UK

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 Author: Geema george

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