British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday warned that a second wave of COVID-19 in Britain is “coming in”, and his government may need to “intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down.”
“We’re now seeing a second wave coming in… clearly we are going to keep everything under review.” Johnson said, adding that it was “inevitable” that coronavirus would hit the country again.
During a visit to the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre construction site near Oxford, Johnson told reporters: “Obviously, we’re looking very carefully at the spread of the pandemic as it evolves over the last few days and there’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in.”
Asked about the possibility of a two-week October half-term in order to bring in a short lockdown, Johnson said, “What I can certainly say about parents and schools is we want to keep the schools open, that is going to happen.”
The prime minister said he does not want to put the country in another national lockdown, but “as the disease progresses of course we’re going to have to take further measures,” Sky News reported.
The number of coronavirus cases in Britain rose by 4,322 on Friday with 27 more deaths as the country is struggling to cope with test shortages.
The total number of coronavirus cases hit 385,936 while the total number of coronavirus-related deaths reached 41,732, official statistics showed Friday.
Earlier reports suggested that the British government is considering the introduction of new national restrictions as the country is struggling to get a handle on the spread of coronavirus.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have reportedly warned that Britain is in danger of seeing a substantial increase in the number of cases by mid-October if the virus is left unchecked.
The British goverment announced Friday that more restrictions will be put in place from Tuesday for more areas, including north west, West Yorkshire and midlands to tackle rising infection rates.
The restrictions include that residents must not socialize with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, and leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, are required to close between 10:00 p.m. (2100 GMT) to 5:00 a.m.(0400 GMT), according to a statement by the government.
These changes are in addition to the “rule of six” which was introduced nationwide on Monday, limiting the number of people who can gather indoors or outdoors to six.
The latest move came at a time when countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.