UK Covid-19 cases and deaths: how UK is coping with second wave

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How the UK entered and exited a national lockdown

On March 23, Boris Johnson placed the UK in a police forced lockdown with drastic measures in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

The prime minister has ordered people to leave their homes only under a list of “very limited targets”, banning mass gatherings and ordering the closure of non-essential stores.

Mr Johnson announced his phase two strategy on May 10, describing a gradual easing of restrictions, rather than a complete lifting of the lockdown. However, the reaction to his speech was fierce, with many accusing the Prime Minister of confusing the British public.

On May 11, Mr Johnson released his ‘road map’ to exit the lockdown, setting out a three-phase strategy to gradually lift the current restrictions.

Mr Johnson subsequently announced on May 28 that all five tests to facilitate the lockdown had been met, confirming that gatherings of up to six people could take place in outdoor spaces from June 1.

On June 23 – exactly three months after the country was locked out – Mr Johnson hailed the start of the end of Britain’s “national hibernation”.

The Prime Minister allowed families and friends to mingle inside and even go on vacation together from July 4. metre.

But Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, has warned that many new social distancing measures are expected to remain in place “until that time next year” because a coronavirus vaccine is still far away.

On July 17, Mr Johnson presented his roadmap to end the lockdown, which saw the reopening of the remaining leisure facilities and the resumption of all beauty treatments from August 1. attempt to restart the economy.

The government is keen to avoid another blanket lockdown. However, preventing a national lockdown will depend on how effectively the government can respond if the infection rate rises rapidly in several parts of the UK.

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Since September 14, gatherings of more than six people have been banned in England. The government has introduced these tough new measures to tackle a sharp rise in coronavirus infection rates.

On September 22, the Prime Minister announced a series of new measures, including a 10 p.m. curfew in pubs and restaurants, a 15-person ceiling for weddings and a return to work from home for office workers, which will likely remain in place until March, a year after the lockdown begins.

With the rate of new cases showing no signs of slowing down, Mr Johnson announced a new three-tier local lockdown system on October 12.

Facing the rise in infections, Mr Johnson announced a new nationwide lockdown across England on Saturday, October 31, after a rapid increase in coronavirus cases. The new measures came into effect on Thursday November 5 and will last until Wednesday December 2.

If the national lockdown eases on December 2 as planned, the country will continue to follow the restrictions of the previous tier system.

On November 11, the Ministry of Education introduced a “student travel window” between December 3 and 9, during which universities should organize the staggered departure of students returning home for Christmas so as not to not overload the public transport system.

How could we prevent another lockdown in the future?

On November 9, the UK welcomed news of an exciting new coronavirus vaccine from Germany known as the Pfizer vaccine. This scientific breakthrough, which is more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, could prevent national lockdowns in the future.

On November 20, Pfizer / BioNTech sent its vaccine for emergency approval to the United States. The vaccine was the first to go through such a procedure and will be shipped “within hours” of approval. This means the UK could start implementing the vaccine in early December.

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Moderna also revealed a vaccine that was 95% effective in trials. In combination with the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines, UK authorities have ordered enough vaccines to immunize most of the population.

With a majority of the population vaccinated, we could avoid a lockdown in the future.

However, despite this promising breakthrough, the Prime Minister stressed the need to exercise caution as the vaccine is still in its “very, very early stages.” Johnson then stressed the need for the current lockdown restrictions, saying:

“The biggest mistake we could make now would be to relax our resolve at a critical time.”

“This winter will be difficult, so it will not have a big impact on the number of infections,” Prof Uğur Şahin told the TBEN.

Prof Sahin admitted that he expects the antibody response in patients “will decrease over time”, but raised the idea of ​​combining vaccines for people who no longer have an immune response.

Imperial College’s vaccination program director Professor Robin Shattock also told Sky that “one vaccine will not be enough” to fight Covid-19.

“We need as many vaccine candidates as possible for a number of reasons,” he said.

“We don’t know if [the Pfizer vaccine] will be effective in all different groups, so the more candidate vaccines we have, the better the toolkit will be. “

Professor Shattock described it as an “incredibly complex operation” to distribute a vaccine to the most vulnerable groups, while convincing the population that a vaccine is safe.

“I think the biggest danger now that we have a vaccine is that people stop taking it seriously,” he added. “We need to remind people that it is not all over until enough people have received the vaccine and we really know it works.”

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A mutation of the coronavirus in Denmark linked to mink can also impact the effectiveness of a vaccine.

Professor Wendy Barkley – an Imperial virology scientist who sits on the government’s Sage committee has expressed concern.

“If mutations affect the way antibodies can view the virus, maybe the vaccines we are currently generating will not work as well as we would have hoped,” she said. The Andrew Marr Show.

“But that could turn out to be a rather one-off situation. It doesn’t mean that vaccines won’t work at all. If we believe it could, then a very adaptable and rapid response vaccination platform could. be the best of different platforms.

“We really need to understand if these mutations are going to have a significant effect on how these antibodies can work.”

New guidelines released by U.S. health officials have also shed light on why Covid-19 outbreaks have been more severe in European countries, such as the United Kingdom.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that fabric face masks help protect the wearer from coronavirus infection, and don’t just serve to protect those around them. The guidelines go far beyond previous statements that masks should be worn with others’ consideration and say they prevent the wearer from breathing in the water droplet-carrying virus.

The health body has suggested that America’s and European countries’ inability to quickly grasp the protective importance of masks may be the reason the Covid-19 epidemics have been far worse than in Asian countries which were able to quickly bring the virus under control.

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