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The pandemic in the UK has got out of control

The pandemic in the UK has got out of control

Waiting crowd at Paddington Station in London. Source: CNN

“The UK has lost control of the coronavirus variants.” Matt Hancock, the British Health Minister, said on the 20th.

According to CNN, more and more countries have suspended flights to and from the UK on the 20th due to the discovery of a more infectious coronavirus variant in the UK.

Screenshot of CNN report

On the 20th, the UK broke the daily record of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 36,000 new cases in a single day. From that day on, the British government raised the epidemic prevention and control level in many parts of the country to level 4 (Tier 4), and London will be closed again.

According to British media reports, many people rushed to “escape” by various means of transportation before the lockdown, but this behavior exacerbated the spread of the epidemic.

CNN reported that many European countries began to issue travel bans against the United Kingdom. A spokesman for 10 Downing Street said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency government meeting on Monday to focus on restrictions on international passage, especially how to ensure the stable circulation of goods entering and leaving the UK.

Boris Johnson

Countries issue a ban on passage to Britain

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Sunday that France announced a 48-hour suspension of entry from British sea, land and air traffic due to “new health risks”, and the port of Dover and the European Tunnel were subsequently closed.

Ireland announced the suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom on Monday and Tuesday. In a statement, the government said: For the sake of public health and safety, people from Britain, regardless of nationality, are not allowed to enter the country.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Facebook on Sunday that passengers who have stayed in the UK for 14 days are prohibited from entering or transiting in Italy.

Portugal will only allow its nationals to fly from the UK and must have a coronavirus test certificate, said Eduardo Cabrita, the Portuguese Interior Minister.

Canada announced that flights from the United Kingdom will be banned from entering the country indefinitely from midnight local time on the 20th.

In addition, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia, Saudi Arabia and other countries have also announced a ban on passage against Britain. Among them, the Dutch government said that the same virus variant was found in the country.

Maria van Kohoff, technical director of WHO’s health emergency project, said on Sunday that a new variant of the novel coronavirus originated in the southeastern United Kingdom and has been circulating in the region since September and has been found in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia.

Stricter prevention and control

At a press conference on Saturday, Johnson said that early evidence showed that the transmission of the novel coronavirus after mutation was 70% higher than that of the existing virus, and it is now spreading rapidly in London and the southeastern part of the United Kingdom.

Waiting passengers at Gatwick Airport. Source: CNN

Johnson said that in the areas with the strictest level of prevention and control, crowd gathering will be banned during Christmas. In England, Scotland and Wales with lower alert levels, gatherings are only allowed on Christmas Day.

Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said on Saturday that 60% of the infections in London were caused by the mutant virus, and the number of infections almost doubled last week.

Several experts in viral genetics and epidemiology have pointed out that the virus is only amplified by supertransmission events, and mutations may make it easier to spread, but will not cause more serious symptoms.

“Escape from London”

The fourth level of coronavirus prevention and control in the UK has brought the UK back to the blockade this spring. Asked how long the Level 4 restrictions will last, Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, said: “Given the extremely rapid spread of the virus, it may be difficult to completely control the epidemic until we launch a vaccine.”

Nevertheless, British people are scorsing the time to “escape from London” before British Prime Minister Johnson announced new restrictions.

British media reported that at 19:00 last Saturday night, the trains from London’s major railway stations were packed, and many passengers complained that others could not keep a distance from themselves in the carriage.

These scenes have been condemned by politicians and public health experts. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in an interview with the BBC that the introduction of restrictions had caused the devastating chaotic consequences of London railway stations.

Opposition Labor Party leader Kyle Starmer said: “Prime Minister Johnson’s Christmas deregulation plan is too risky. Obviously, this is his serious negligence. Rather than listening to people’s concerns, nor taking them seriously, he did what he always did: refuse to challenge, cut his own hair, and made rash remarks.”

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