Variant of COVID-19 forces England to impose lockdown in most of the country

Variante de COVID-19 obliga a Inglaterra a imponer confinamiento en la mayor parte del país

The British authorities imposed harsh restrictive measures throughout much of the Kingdom United for him alarming increase of the cases of COVID-19, as a consequence of the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus.

Given the scientific evidence that indicates that the new strain accelerates to a 70% plus the transmission of the virus, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was forced today to modify the population movement plans for this Christmas, amid criticism of the Labor opposition for not having taken these measures earlier.

This worrying level of infections in London and in southeastern England forced the Executive to place these areas as of this Sunday in the risk level 4 -grave-, with the closure of stores that sell non-essential items, gyms, cinemas, while people are asked to work from home.

In addition, the autonomous authorities of Welsh reported that all this territory will be from this midnight in total lockdown, while the flexible rules of movement in days prior to Christmas are canceled with the exception of the day 25.

In Scotland, the chief minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced today that travel from Scotland to other British nations and vice versa will not be allowed, while the number of people who can meet on Christmas Day will be limited to eight.

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In North Ireland, the authorities of this province also announced confinement measures that will come into force as of Dec 26 and they will last for six weeks.

The latest official figures indicate that 534 people died on the last day in the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 67,075.

After the government British reported the appearance of the new strain a few days ago, the authorities confirmed that they have already alerted the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although this variant spreads rapidly, there is no evidence that it is more lethal or that it may have an impact on the effectiveness of vaccines developed against it. COVID-19 and that are already being supplied in some countries, although this point is being urgently evaluated for confirmation.

As explained by the prime minister, the new variant could raise the R, the reproductive number of this infectious disease. The R is currently all over the Kingdom United between 1.1 and 1.2, which implies an “exponential” spread of the virus.

The leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, said today that “millions of families will be heartbroken” by the measures and admitted his frustration because he unsuccessfully alerted the prime minister of this situation a few days ago in Parliament.

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At level 4, only the meeting of one person with another who does not live under the same roof only outdoors will be authorized.

The prime minister asked the people who are in the different levels of restrictions in which England is divided, by virtue of the number of cases, to stay in their places of residence.

Furthermore, those who live in the level 4 They will not be allowed to travel abroad, although with “limited exceptions”, such as for work reasons, nor will they be able to travel to the English areas that are in the three lower levels.

The “premier” has modified the plans for the Christmas period in England by establishing that those who are in levels 1, 2 and 3 of restrictions -low, moderate and substantial-, only three groups from different ceilings, can meet only on the day 25.

Until today, these meetings were authorized between December 22 and 28, to give flexibility to families.

At the press conference held at his official residence in Downing Street, Johnson said this Christmas will be the opportunity to “raise the glass for those who are not,” in the hope that these restrictions will allow families to be reunited again at Christmas next year.

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England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, indicated this Saturday that as a result of the “rapid increase in cases in the southeast (of England)”, the advisory group of New threats emerging respiratory viruses (NERVTAG, in English) considers “that the new strain spreads more rapidly.”

“We have alerted the WHO and we continue to analyze the available data to improve our understanding” of the virus, he added.

Faced with this situation, “it is now more vital than ever for the population to take measures in their area to reduce transmission,” said the medical director.

He added that this new strain is another “terrible” moment of the pandemic, but that it is not the worst since there are currently medical treatments and also a vaccine.

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