LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he does not want another national lockdown, but new sanctions may be needed as the country was facing an “inevitable” second wave of COVID-19.
Ministers were reported to consider a second national lockdown on Friday, after new COVID-19 cases nearly doubled to 6,000 per day, hospital admissions rose and infection rates rose in parts of northern England and London .
The Prime Minister said that the increase in cases was part of a second wave which was now invincible.
Johnson told UK media, “We are seeing a second wave now … It is absolutely, I am afraid, inevitable that we will see it in this country.”
Asked about whether the entire country should bow to a new lockdown rather than just local restrictions, he said: “I don’t want to come to a second national lockdown.”
But he did not reject further national restrictions.
“When you see what’s going on, you wonder if we need to go beyond the rule of six brought on Monday,” he said, referring to a ban on the gathering of more than six people .
According to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, the United Kingdom has reported the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
The official number of new positive cases in the UK rose from around one thousand to 4,322 on Friday, the highest since 8 May, with a different ONS model pointing to around 6,000 new cases a week in England, Sept 10.
This was up from modeling 3,200 cases per day in the previous week, with North West and London seen as hotspots.
Health Minister Matt Hancock on Friday called a second national lockdown a last resort and when asked about it, he said: “I can’t answer you now.”
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The UK said that the “R” infection of the infection increased to the range of 1.1-1.4 from last week’s 1.0-1.2.
“We are seeing clear signs that the virus is now spreading widely across all age groups and I am particularly concerned with the increase in hospital admission rates and intensive care among older people,” Medical Director at Public Health England , Said Yvonne Doyle.
“It can be a warning of worse things to come.”
Britain implemented new COVID rules on the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday. More than 10 million people are already in local lockdown in the United Kingdom, and restrictions may be in the way for millions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said later on Friday that it was likely to “grow rapidly” that additional measures would be needed in Britain’s largest city soon. He said he had seen evidence about the spread of the virus in London, which was “extremely”.
COVID-19 cases began to rise again in the UK in September, with 3,000 and 4,000 positive tests reported in the previous week. It is still some way behind France, which is seeing more than 10,000 new cases a day.
ONS stated, “COVID-19 infection rates have increased in most areas, especially in the North West and London.”
ONS stated that there was clear evidence of an increase in the number of people aged between 2 and 11 years, 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years of positive age.
Johnson was criticized by opposition politicians for his initial reaction to the outbreak and the government has struggled in recent weeks to ensure adequate testing.
Asked by LBC Radio why the test system was such a “bastard”, Hancock said Dido Harding, who is in charge of the system, did “an extraordinary job”.
Reporting by Gai Foulcobridge, Kate Holton, and Sarah Young; Editing by Raisa Kasolowski, Mike Collett-White, Philip Fletcher, William McLean