The United Kingdom on Thursday (10.21.2021) recorded more than 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since mid-July, underlining the deteriorating health situation that has led to growing calls for the re-imposition of restrictions such as the use of masks inside homes. .
The country has one of the highest infection rates in the world, matching levels of last winter’s wave, which led to a four-month lockdown. Hospitalizations and deaths are still much lower but are on the rise.
The number of new daily infections rose to 5,2009 on Thursday and deaths to 115, which has led to 139,146 deaths since the outbreak of the epidemic in a country of 66 million people.
The government acknowledged on Wednesday that 100,000 cases per day could soon be reached, but refused to reimpose some restrictions that were lifted in July, insisting instead that young people be vaccinated and those over 50 receive a third booster dose.
“Infection numbers are high, but we are within the expected limits,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.
As the situation worsens, calls are growing for the government to launch its “Plan B” which includes returning masks, teleworking and possibly imposing vaccination passports in some places.
The British Medical Association accused the government of “willful negligence”, calling the current situation “unsustainable” and calling for immediate action.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have health efficiencies, continue to enforce the use of masks indoors.
The ultra-liberal policy of the Johnson government is one of the hypotheses put forward by some scholars to explain the current decline. Other factors cited were low vaccination among minors and a slow booster campaign for those who had been vaccinated more than six months ago and see their immunity waning.
gs (afp, reuters)
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