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UK minister: UK blockade may continue to be extended

UK minister: UK blockade may continue to be extended

by YCPress

Reuters pointed out on November 1 that after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK government would once again implement a one-month full lockdown, UK Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove stated that due to the need to contain the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic, UK The blockade measures may be extended to 2021.

Screenshot of Reuters website

To avoid the second wave of pandemic, the UK government implements blockade

Over the past month, the UK government has been actively responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, but with little success. On November 2, the number of new cases in a single day in the UK reached 18,950, and the cumulative number of infections reached 1.05 million. 

Scientists warn that the United Kingdom is the country with the largest number of deaths due to Coronavirus pandemic in Europe, and the death toll may exceed 80,000 this winter.

Johnson pointed out on October 31 that in order to prevent and control the rapidly rising second wave of Coronavirus pandemic and protect the national health and medical system, the United Kingdom will implement comprehensive lockdown measures from November 5th and continue until December 2. Excluding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

But Michael Gove said that the total blockade measures originally scheduled for one month may continue to be extended.

 “I sincerely hope that the lockdown measures will end on December 2, but if the situation is not under control, I do not rule out extending the lockdown date.”

Reuters pointed out that during the effective period of the blockade measures, restaurants and bars can only provide takeaway services, non-essential shops must be closed, gyms and entertainment venues are all closed, and people must stay at home if they have no special needs. But unlike the lockdown at the beginning of the year, the school will remain open.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image source: Reuters)

Michael Gove pointed out that unless the UK government takes immediate action, the UK medical system will be overwhelmed. 

“The extension of the total blockade measures is to keep the basic infection rate (R rate) of the virus below one, and the other is to protect the health and medical system of the whole people from being completely paralyzed.”

The UK “Times” reported that several cabinet ministers also hinted that Britain’s comprehensive blockade measures may last until next year, but the government will consider relaxing the blockade measures briefly during the Christmas period.

Cabinet ministers pointed out that if the number of Coronavirus virus infections and deaths continues to rise, ending the blockade measures will become “more difficult.”

Blockade requires additional financial support, the government is pinning its hopes on vaccines

Jeremy Farrar, a member of the UK Government’s Emergency Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), believes that unless the pandemic improves significantly, the comprehensive lockdown measures will inevitably be extended beyond early December.

Boris Johnson announced the blockade measures at cafes on the streets of London the next day (Image source: Reuters)

The pandemic model released by the UK Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) shows that without any intervention, the number of deaths from Coronavirus in the UK may reach more than 4,000 people every day.

In an interview, Jeremy Farrard pointed out that it is much better to (extend the total blockade measures) than to cancel these measures now and to impose stricter restrictions around Christmas or when the New Year is approaching.

He also pinned his hopes on Coronavirus vaccine that will be on the market next year. 

UK drugmaker AstraZeneca said on November 1 that the UK health regulator has accelerated the review of Coronavirus vaccine.

Reuters said that as the new comprehensive blockade measures will significantly increase government emergency expenditures, far exceeding the 200 billion pounds originally promised, the UK government will release financial support plans for businesses and households in the next few days. 

Economists at Reuters predict that the UK economy will shrink by 10% this year.

Capital International Macroeconomic Consulting Economist Paul Dale predicts that due to the blockade, the UK economy may experience zero growth or even a slight contraction in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Investment bank Goldman Sachs also predicts that the UK’s economic growth rate in the fourth quarter will change from a previously expected increase of 3.6% to a contraction of 2.4%.

JPMorgan Chase Group expects that the UK government will continue to provide an additional expenditure budget of 20 billion pounds to deal with the economic contraction due to the impact of the pandemic.