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The face of the British will be even tougher in two weeks unless Rule of Six works


Boris Johnson refused to rule out a new statewide lockdown today when he hit critics for his crackdown on the Six-Congregation Rule with a warning that it was better than the alternatives.

He told MPs this afternoon that a second lockdown would be "disastrous" and unaffordable for a nation already affected by the coronavirus.

He faces the Liaison Committee of Senior MPs as it emerged that the British could face an even tougher lockdown within two weeks, unless the rule of six leads to a spike in some cases.

Ministers and government officials insist that despite a wave of criticism, they are ready to take more draconian steps to stop the spread.

Options on the table can range from curfews to pubs closing – although it is clear that schools will remain open.

This despite today's warnings that schools could be forced to close by default in the coming weeks due to a massive lack of testing across the UK.

The Prime Minister told the committee: “I don't want a second national lockdown, I think that would be completely wrong for this country. We will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening.

“Can we afford it? I very much doubt the financial consequences will be anything but catastrophic, but we need to make sure we use the means we have planned to defeat the disease.

“When I see people saying and arguing against the rule of six that the government is restricting individual freedoms too much and so on, I understand that completely, I sympathize with it, but we have to, have to defeat this disease. & # 39;

The dire prospect of curfew has been raised amid fears the disease is on the verge of spiraling out of control.

"Lockdown is the only thing we know works, to be honest," a government science adviser told ITV.

Although the number of cases has increased over 3,000 a day, it has mainly been younger people who are less likely to be severely affected.

But now cases of Covid-19 among middle-aged people in England are on the rise and have increased over 90 percent in 14 days as the outbreak continues to worsen.

Public Health England (PHE) data shows 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people between the ages of 40 and 49 – up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, rising from 10.9 to 20.

Mr Johnson admitted the government's coronavirus testing system is not working today amid fears the UK will be "locked down by default" as schools have to close and workers cannot return to offices.

The Prime Minister bluntly admitted that there was insufficient capacity for screening, blaming a "big, big" surge in demand for chaos with millions of people struggling to be screened.

And he asked a concerned public to follow instructions and only get tests if they have symptoms.

The comments came as Mr Johnson presented evidence to the powerful bipartisan liaison committee and renewed his promise to increase the daily test count to 500,000 by the end of October.

In light of the increasing chaos, the government has stopped publishing daily capacity figures – the dates are now labeled "N / A". The exam of Tsarina Baroness Harding also faces questions. Ministers are calling for schools to be given "priority" and "quick" access to checks.

Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously boasted "Moonshot" plans to run 10 million tests a day, he is now rushing to create a "priority list".

It came as:

  • Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have been warned that the testing fiasco is on the verge of de facto lockdown of the country as schools remain open "unsustainably".
  • Covid-19 cases are on the rise among middle-aged people in England and have risen over 90 percent in 14 days as the outbreak continues to rise, official figures show.
  • The head of British Airways defended its decision to shed up to 12,000 jobs, saying the pandemic left the national airline "in the fight for survival".
  • A Manchester hospital was responsible for a third of all Covid-19 deaths in England last week. This was exposed amid concerns that the life-threatening disease would spread between wards.

The most recent PHE data released on Friday clearly shows that cases in each age group are spiraling. People in their twenties – who are not as susceptible to the disease and likely to escape death or serious illness – are driving the surge with an infection rate of 46, which has doubled in the past three weeks

Public Health England (PHE) data shows 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people between the ages of 40 and 49 - up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, rising from 10.9 to 20

Public Health England (PHE) data shows 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people between the ages of 40 and 49 – up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, rising from 10.9 to 20

Curfews, Pub Closures, and Small Gatherings: How Britain Could Curb Wave Two

The UK could follow Belgium's lead and take steps to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Brussels has contained a second wave of coronavirus by limiting the number of people who could socialize and imposing a nationwide curfew.

The European country experienced a virus resurgence in mid-July, comparable to the UK's current development.

On July 29, officials there introduced new rules, reduced the number of people who could socialize from 15 to five and introduced a curfew for the entire population at 10 p.m.

Coronavirus infections increased in Belgium in mid-July. By August, the weekly case rate rose to over 35 per 100,000 – the current level in the UK – and the daily infections rose to 1,000. The numbers have dropped in the past few weeks. As of September 1, only 194 new cases were reported.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is among those who have praised the Belgian government's efforts to combat the outbreak.

Last week he said Belgium was "a clear indication that if you act quickly and decisively when these changes take place, there is a reasonable or good chance of getting interest rates back under control".

Such a move would allow people to still go to work and school, but would limit nightlife, which could put high pressure on the hotel industry as pubs and restaurants are forced to close prematurely.

Downing Street has not denied any reports that curfews could slow the spread of the coronavirus.

When asked about reports that a curfew might be imposed in London, a spokesman for Number 10 previously said, “We will continue to check the transmission rate.

& # 39; We introduced the rule of six to try to lower the transfer rate as it has been increasing lately.

"But as I said, we will continue to review this data and the scientific evidence."

Alarms, however, were triggered by early signs that hospital admissions are on the rise and that infections are becoming more common in the elderly.

The problems were exacerbated by the test system, which got into chaos after schools returned and showed high demand for children to be screened.

The Rhondda Cynon Taf area in South Wales will be locked down after an increase in local coronavirus cases, the Welsh government said this afternoon.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced that the measures, which will be reviewed within two weeks, will take effect at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Rhondda Cynon Taf, with a population of around 240,000, had a rolling 7-day case rate of 82.1 per 100,000 people.

As part of the measures, individuals are not permitted to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf parish without a reasonable apology.

People can only meet with members of their extended household outdoors, not indoors.

All licensed premises must close at 11 p.m.

The “rule of six” imposed by Boris Johnson on Monday makes it illegal to hold large gatherings, although in Scotland and Wales children under the age of 12 do not need to be included in the figures.

Ministers have suggested following the example of Belgium, where an increase appears to have been approached with tight limits on gatherings and curfews.

A senior government official told ITV's Robert Peston that "there is no way we can wait for the death rate to rise before we act".

They added that the government will re-examine whether the rule of six is ​​enough to control the situation in a fortnight – but there is a widespread view that schools should not be closed again.

According to reports, a senior science advisor said, “I think if we are to keep schools open we may need to seriously consider a variety of other measures to stop a big second wave.

"And we have to think about it now – what to start doing."

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock (right) and Chief Whip Mark Spencer greet each other on Downing Street in London

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock (right) and Chief Whip Mark Spencer greet each other on Downing Street in London

The Red Lion Pub in Westminster, a few meters from the Houses of Parliament, was surrounded by drinkers last night despite the introduction of the rule of six on Monday.

The Red Lion Pub in Westminster, a few meters from the Houses of Parliament, was surrounded by drinkers last night despite the introduction of the rule of six on Monday.

The “rule of six” imposed by Boris Johnson on Monday (pictured today at PMQs) makes it illegal to hold large gatherings, although in Scotland and Wales children under 12 do not need to be counted

The “rule of six” imposed by Boris Johnson on Monday (pictured today at PMQs) makes it illegal to hold large gatherings, although in Scotland and Wales children under 12 do not need to be counted

Second UK pub bans under 25 for social distancing

Another UK pub has temporarily banned under 25s because the landlady claims there is a lack of social distancing among young drinkers.

The Red Lion in Whinmoor announced the move on Monday on Facebook and confirmed that people in the age group between Friday and Sunday will not be able to attend.

The landlady, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the decision was made to protect the company's staff along with its regular customers from coronavirus.

She added that the Red Lion has some "good young customers" who adhere to social distancing guidelines, but a minority "spoil it for others" as they have to keep reminding them to respect the guidelines in force, to stop the virus from spreading.

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer was forced to miss the prime minister's questions due to a delay in receiving a coronavirus test result for one of his children, his deputy said.

Angela Rayner, who stood in the mailing box for Sir Keir on Wednesday lunchtime, told Boris Johnson that she had received a message from "a man named Keir".

She told Commons: “Keir couldn't go to work and his children couldn't go to school today because his family had to wait for their coronavirus test results despite the Prime Minister's promise to get results within 24 hours.

"Keir has been able to do the right thing, isolate himself and work from home, but other people are not in that position – many of them are the very people who are getting us through this crisis."

Mr Johnson said he understood that a negative test had been returned for Sir Keir's child, adding, "I don't know why he's not here."

The Labor leader was advised to self-isolate Monday while awaiting the result of a test on a member of his household showing possible symptoms of Covid-19.

Less than half an hour before the PMQs began, Sir Keir said he was "very pleased and relieved that one of my children tested negative this morning".

On Tuesday it was decided that his deputy, Ms. Rayner, should take his place at Question Time.

The possibility of going tougher exists despite a major Tory backlash to the limitations of everyday life.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland denied this morning that the "rule of six" would effectively cancel Christmas after a source close to the Archbishop of Canterbury criticized the social restrictions imposed this week to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Archbishop of Canterbury warns that the "rule of six" harms family life

The Archbishop, Bishop of Canterbury, warned of centrally-imposed coronavirus restrictions and said he was "deeply concerned" about the impact of the "rule of six" on family life.

Most Rev. Justin Welby said the government was "determining the daily details of our lives" during the coronavirus lockdown in ways "few of us have seen" when he advocated locality instead.

He said Britain had an "addiction to centralization" and argued that the country should adopt the "only centralize what needs to be centralized" stance.

The Archbishop is also said to be concerned about the impact of the "Six Rules" – a ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than six people – on "the vulnerable, needy, poor and old" in Britain.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today program, the Cabinet Secretary said: “Archbishop Justin (Welby) is making an important contribution to this debate and he is right to point out the enormous spiritual and social significance of Christmas.

“I don't think any of us in government wants to be Oliver Cromwell-esque – we want families to celebrate Christmas safely and happily, and we want our churches and other places of worship to join in the celebration. & # 39;

Mr Buckland added, "We are not going to cancel Christmas, but the 'rule of six' is clear and important and I think we have committed to and must adhere to it."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday battled angry calls to exempt young children from the rules in England to save Christmas.

He was repeatedly pushed for the "unfair and inflexible" restrictions when making a statement in the House of Commons.

While Mr. Hancock insisted on understanding the "implications" of the rules, he said that "simplicity" was critical to their effectiveness.

Senior Conservatives have risen to urge the government to copy the Scottish and Welsh governments, which have stated that children under the age of 12 do not count towards the limits of gatherings.

Home Secretary Priti Patel warned yesterday that two families colliding on the street would break the new law.

She said that more than half a dozen people who stop chatting after accidentally meeting them would constitute a "mingling".

Lawyers asked if this was the case – but No. 10 offered assistance, saying, "You can expect the police to tell you to disperse."

Ms. Patel also said that she would report her own neighbors for any behavior she deemed "inappropriate" and at risk of spreading the virus.

The comments came after police complained that they had been left in the dark on how the tough restrictions could be enforced, without guidance and widespread public anger.

The number of Covid-19 cases in people in their forties and fifties has risen 90% since the end of August – while the number of patients hospitalized doubled in just nine days, official figures show

Covid-19 cases are on the rise among middle-aged people in England and have risen over 90 percent in 14 days as the outbreak continues to rise, official figures show.

Public Health England (PHE) data shows 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people between the ages of 40 and 49 – up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, rising from 10.9 to 20.

The most recent PHE data, released on Friday, clearly shows that cases are increasing in every age group. People in their twenties – who are not as susceptible to the disease and likely to escape death or serious illness – are driving the surge with an infection rate of 46 that has doubled in three weeks.

Fear of a second wave is growing as the number of Britons diagnosed with Covid-19 daily surpasses 3,000 for the first time since May. Ministers have also been terrified by the mounting outbreaks in Spain and France and rising hospital admissions across the continent.

Hospital admissions – another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic – have doubled in England in the past nine days. More than 150 newly infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, compared to a seven-day rolling average of 52 on the last day of August.

But government officials say a second wave of Covid-19 in the UK, it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as the first one that killed between 40 and 55,000 people because we have better contain the virus through local lockdowns and social distancing measures, and medical breakthroughs have helped lower the death rate.

Hospital admissions - another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic - have doubled in England in the past ten days. More than 150 newly infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, compared to a seven-day rolling average of 52 on the last day of August

Hospital admissions – another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic – have doubled in England in the past ten days. More than 150 newly infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, compared to a seven-day rolling average of 52 on the last day of August

Hospital admissions - another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic - have doubled in England in the past ten days. More than 150 newly infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, compared to a rolling average of 56 days the previous week

Hospital admissions – another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic – have doubled in England in the past ten days. More than 150 newly infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, compared to a rolling average of 56 days the previous week

The PHE figures released on Friday, which provide the most detailed insight into the state of the coronavirus crisis in England, showed how people in their twenties are driving the current outbreak.

The infection rate for people ages 20 to 29 has increased from 23.5 cases per 100,000 people for the week ended August 16 to 46 in the last full week of data, which ended September 6.

The rate is now 29.8 for people in their 30s, down from 19.6 the week before and 16.4 at the end of August. And it rose to 23.4 for 40 to 49 year olds, down from 13.5 in the last seven days and 12.4 at the end of last month.

Infection rates rose from 10.9 to 20 in one week for people in their fifties and from 7.5 to 12.4 for people in their sixties.

There are also increasing cases of people over 70 who are the most susceptible to the disease because of their age. The infection rates rose in the last week from 4.6 to 7.3 for those over 70 and from 8.9 to 12.9 for those over 80.

In children, the rates for children up to the age of four rose from 5.6 to 7.7 and for 10 to 19 year olds from 5.1 to 8.1.

According to the Ministry of Health, hospital admissions have also increased over the same period.

Government statistics show that 153 newly infected patients were in need of NHS care in England as of Sunday 13th September. Similar data has not yet been published for Monday or yesterday.

For comparison, 85 patients were admitted to a hospital in England last Sunday.

The 7-day rolling average of hospital admissions – considered one of the best ways to analyze trends – shows the rate increased from 52.43 on the last day of August to 127.57 on September 13. The rate was over 100 on September 10 and 72 on the last Sunday.

Hopes of combating a second wave are also high, as vaccines may be available by next spring and a "long pipeline" of promising hits is being tested.

In addition, early signs from the southern hemisphere suggest that a flu outbreak will be less severe than in previous years.

The top Belgian scientist Jean-Luc Gala said the rising infection rate in Belgium was "completely normal" and the ongoing lockdown measures should be relaxed. He told the French-language newspaper La Dernière Heure that "people are no longer suffering from the coronavirus, but measures to stop it".

He said people shouldn't worry as the virus "circulates in a category that doesn't suffer from it, young people who at worst have small symptoms, at best nothing". He said that people who are moderately infected by the virus are beneficial as it contributes to widespread immunity.

Ministers had been concerned that a combination of flu and corona cases would prove disastrous for the NHS this winter.

However, officials also expect that advice on hygiene and social distancing during the corona pandemic will suppress flu rates – as will the trend to work from home and avoid public transportation.

In Australia and New Zealand, which tend to be good indicators of how the flu is developing in the UK, cases have remained low year on year.

Officials still believe the next six months will be "very difficult" for the NHS and the country as a whole – but their cautious optimism contrasts sharply with recent warnings from medical unions and medical schools claiming hospitals cannot comply cope with a second wave.

A survey by the British Medical Association this week found that 86 percent of doctors expect the coronavirus to rise again in the next six months.

When Spain, France and Belgium hit 18 cases per 100,000 cases (which the UK did in early September), they saw up to a four-fold increase in approvals. However, Belgium was able to reduce its hospital rate by reintroducing strict measures

When Spain, France and Belgium hit 18 cases per 100,000 cases (which the UK did in early September), they saw up to a four-fold increase in approvals. However, Belgium was able to reduce its hospital rate by reintroducing strict measures

In August, the hospitalization rate in Belgium doubled from one in 100,000 to two in 100,000, but has since been suppressed

In August, the hospitalization rate in Belgium doubled from one in 100,000 to two in 100,000, but has since been suppressed

Hospital stay rates remain low in the UK, falling from a high of more than 30 per 100,000 people to less than one in 100,000, but officials fear they will rise again soon

Hospital stay rates remain low in the UK, falling from a high of more than 30 per 100,000 people to less than one in 100,000, but officials fear they will rise again soon

However, government officials believe that while cases are picking up again, the curve will be flatter compared to March and April.

Part of the reason for this prediction is the fact that we now know so much more about the virus. This includes medical advances such as the discovery that the steroid treatment dexamethasone can reduce the risk of death from coronavirus by a third.

Officials also say local lockdowns – and the beleaguered testing and tracing service – have successfully prevented recent outbreaks from spreading further.

However, they stress that it is wrong to assume that the virus only circulates among young people.

While many new cases are in patients between the ages of 17 and 21, the latest statistics show that infection rates for people in their fifties and sixties are now as high as they were for patients in their twenties a few weeks ago.

Yesterday's health ministry figures showed there had been 3,105 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, compared to around 5,000 a day at the height of the crisis. There were another 27 deaths, up from nine on Tuesday.

A special envoy for the World Health Organization said yesterday that the "grotesque" global outlook is "far worse than any science fiction".

Dr. David Nabarro, who appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee, told MPs: "It's a terrible situation … a health problem is so out of control that it's plunging the world into not only a recession but a huge economic one." Contraction that would likely double the number of poor people, double the number of malnourished (and) cause hundreds of millions of small businesses to go bankrupt. & # 39;

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