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UK faces the worst week of COVID pandemic and accelerates vaccine deployment

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London (Reuters)-The UK is facing the worst week of the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief medical officer said Monday, with deaths and cases hitting record highs while the high-dose vaccination program recovers So medical services are steam entering the “dangerous time”.

Vehicles are lining up to enter the NHS Vaccination Center parking lot during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manchester, England, on January 11, 2021. REUTERS / Phil Noble

The virus currently kills more than 81,000 people in the UK, the fifth highest casualty in the world, with more than 3 million positive. A new, more contagious variant of the disease is exploding throughout the population, affecting 1 in 20 people in parts of London.

In an attempt to overcome the pandemic and regain some normality by spring, the UK is rushing to the largest vaccination program in history, offering injections to all in the top four priority categories (about 15). .. Million-by the middle of next month.

However, the government’s chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, warned that the situation would worsen in the meantime.

“The next few weeks will be the worst week of this pandemic in terms of numbers to the NHS (United Kingdom National Health Service),” he said.

“I don’t think anyone who is currently seriously ill and shocked by the number of people in the hospital dying during this pandemic understand this at all. This is a horrifying situation,” he told the BBC TV. Told.

“Crisis”

Approximately 18,000 people were hospitalized at the peak of the first outbreak in April, but now there are 30,000, adding that healthcare services are facing a “serious crisis.”

“Everyone says this is the most dangerous time we’ve actually experienced in terms of NHS participation,” he said.

The mayor of London said on Friday that hospitals in the UK capital were at risk of being overwhelmed by COVID patients, and the minister and health minister respected blockades for people and stayed home unless it was imperative to go out. I begged you to be there.

The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking forward to a mass vaccination program to provide a way out of the pandemic by spring.

The United Kingdom was the first country to approve a vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer / BioNTech, and approved a shot of Moderna on Friday. We aim to provide shots to 15 million people by the middle of next month.

To reach that goal of having to vaccinate 2 million vaccines a week, the government has opened seven large vaccination centers, with additional doctors’ surgery, hospitals, and some pharmacies starting injections. To do.

“Vaccinations are really starting to increase, with 200,000 people a day. We did a great job last week,” Nadhim Zahawi, the minister of vaccination programs, told Sky News.

He said the four most high-risk levels of people, including those over 70, who are the most vulnerable and front-line healthcare workers in the clinic, will be vaccinated by February 15.

“I hope they do. Kiel Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, who has repeatedly accused Johnson of being too late to respond to the pandemic, said of this goal.

“The UK is one of the highest death tolls in Europe and should not be the most severe depression. We should not face the slowest recovery and of as many deaths as every day from this virus. You shouldn’t suffer from tragedy. “

The government has been called on to take stricter actions against those who violate the blockade rules, but Mr Zahavi said the minister did not want to be “more stringent.” However, he warned that there were concerns about the spread of the virus in supermarkets and that people would need to wear masks while in the supermarket. [L8N2JM1EK]

Additional reports by Kate Holton, William Schomberg and James Davey. Written by Michael Holden; edited by Estelle Shirbon, Guy Faulconbridge, Angus MacSwan

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