UK at critical point in COVID pandemic, top medical adviser says

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and faces a very challenging winter, one of the government's top medical advisers will warn at a public briefing on Monday. Cases in Britain are on the increase in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has labelled a second wave of the virus, with large areas of the country subject to restrictions on social freedom and London expected to be next in line.

Reuters September 21, 2020 03:10:30 IST
UK at critical point in COVID pandemic, top medical adviser says

UK at critical point in COVID pandemic top medical adviser says

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and faces a very challenging winter, one of the government's top medical advisers will warn at a public briefing on Monday.

Cases in Britain are on the increase in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has labelled a second wave of the virus, with large areas of the country subject to restrictions on social freedom and London expected to be next in line.

"The trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic," England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is expected to say in an address set for 1000 GMT on Monday.

"We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period."

More than 40,000 people in Britain have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March, the highest number in Europe.

New cases fell rapidly due to an unprecedented three-month national lockdown, but have risen as the shuttered economy, schools and offices reopened. The government has been heavily criticised for a shortage of testing capacity.

The warning from Whitty is expected to foreshadow a national address by Johnson later in the week, although this has not been confirmed by ministers.

Health minister Matt Hancock on Sunday warned the country was at a tipping point, saying that people must follow rules on self-isolating or face the imposition of further lockdown measures. The government announced large fines for non-compliance.

Hancock has refused to rule out another national lockdown - something which Johnson has said would have disastrous consequences for the economy - and said officials were meeting to decide how best to handle the rising cases in London.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.