The British government could prolong the one month confinement which will come into force next Thursday, if the data on the infection rate have not improved enoughCabinet Minister Michael Gove announced this Sunday.
“Confinement could be extended”But “if we lower the national infection rate, we could reduce measures both nationally and regionally,” Gove said in an interview on the “Sky News” channel.
The minister defended the decision announced last night by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, despite the fact that the scientific committee that advises the Executive had already warned several weeks ago that a “short” confinement was necessary to stop the growth of infections.
“With a virus so malignant and with an ability to spread so quickly, it would be stupid to predict with absolute certainty what will happen four weeks from now, when in the last two weeks its rate has increased, “he added.
Gove stressed that the “nuclear option” of closure was the last one considered by the Government, but that it was “necessary to safeguard the NHS (public health system)”.
“If we do not get to do anything, the first week of December the NHS would be full, the consequences would be impossible to exaggerate. The situation is worse than anyone expected,” he warned.
Johnson announced this Saturday a month-long national lockdown for England, from next Thursday until December 2, due to the alarming data of the pandemic.
This measure, which puts an end to local restrictions strategy For which the British Conservative Government had opted, it will mean the forced closure of non-essential shops and businesses, as well as all hospitality, although schools and universities will remain open.
Johnson’s announcement came on the same day the UK surpassed one million laboratory confirmed cases since the pandemic broke out, with 21,915 new positives in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 1,011,660.
Labor leader supported the measure
The leader of the opposition, the Labor Keir Starmer, supported this Sunday the measure to confine the country for a month, although he recalled that he had already urged Johnson to order a shutdown to “short-circuit” the transmission three weeks ago, taking advantage of the school holidays that took place this week.
“The lockdown will now be longer and harder, and that has many costs. We will support the government (in Parliament), but it has to improve the test and trace system,” said Starmer, interviewed by the BBC.
The Labor leader defended maintaining the confinement until the rate of circulation of the virus (the so-called R number) drops below 1, which means that each infected person infects less than one additional person.
The Executive will take its confinement proposal to the House of Commons on Monday, which will vote on the measure on Wednesday, so that it can take effect that same midnight.
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