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The UK is facing a longer virus lockdown; Johnson’s condition improves




Dairy producer Paul Tompkins at South Acre Farm near York, England on Thursday April 9, 2020. UK Environment Secretary George Eustice meets with farmer representatives as some dairy farmers start pouring milk due to the collapse of the markets. The highly contagious COVID-19 coronavirus has had an impact on nations around the world, with many imposing self-isolation and social distancing when people leave their homes. (Danny Lawson / PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) – The British prepared for several weeks of confinement on Thursday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition improved in a London hospital after three nights in intensive care for the treatment of his coronavirus infection.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Johnson was “taking positive steps” in intensive care at St. Thomas Hospital and was in good spirits.

Earlier, Johnson’s spokesperson James Slack said the Prime Minister “continues to improve.” Johnson has been receiving oxygen without being ventilated since his symptoms of COVID-19 worsened and he was admitted to intensive care on Monday.

Raab, who replaces Johnson while ill, told the British that it was too early to relax the restrictions on public activity imposed on March 23 to try to slow the spread of the virus.

The original restrictions were three weeks, a period ending Monday. But after chairing a meeting of the government’s crisis committee, COBRA, Raab said no decision on lifting the government suspension and business closures would be made “until the evidence clearly shows that we are past the peak of the epidemic.

Raab said: “We are starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we have all made, but the deaths continue to increase and we have not yet reached the peak of the virus.”

He said the government and its scientific experts would assess the evidence again next week.

“We must not give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and injure our country,” said Raab at the government’s daily press conference.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some, especially the elderly and infirm, it can cause pneumonia and, in some cases, death.

According to government figures, nearly 8,000 people with coronavirus have died in hospitals in the UK. As the number of new confirmed cases began to level off, deaths approached the highs seen in Italy and Spain, the two countries with the highest number of deaths.

The United Kingdom reported 881 new deaths on Thursday, down from 938 the previous day. Italy recorded a record 969 deaths on March 27 and Spain 950 on April 2.

However, the figures may not be directly comparable. The deaths reported every day in the UK did not all occur in the previous 24 hours, and the total only includes deaths in hospitals.

British authorities have suggested that restrictions could be tightened if people flock to parks and outdoor spaces during what should be a warm, sunny Easter weekend. Currently, most parks remain open and people are allowed out for essential work. shopping and exercise.

While most Britons have followed the rules, there have been infractions. Police in Manchester, in the north-west of the English city, said they had broken 660 parties in the city in the past two weeks, some with DJs and fireworks.

In some cases, the police have been charged with excessive zeal. Nick Adderley, the police chief for Northamptonshire in central England, said Thursday that his officers may have to set up roadblocks and start “checking items in baskets and (shopping) carts for see if it is a legitimate and necessary item. ”

Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch called the comments “outrageous” and Adderley later said his agents would not inspect people’s purchases.

Johnson’s government has been slower than that of some European countries to impose restrictions on daily life in response to the pandemic, which has led critics to accuse him of convenience. Britain also had one of the lowest numbers of hospital beds per capita in Western Europe before the pandemic, with only around 5,000 intensive care beds nationwide.

This number has increased significantly in recent weeks, both by converting other areas of hospitals to treat patients with COVID-19 and by building temporary facilities, including a 4,000-bed hospital at the Excel conference center from London.

So far, hospitals have been stretched but not overwhelmed, but some doctors say they are struggling and still have not received adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, or PPE

“We are still basically wearing the same equipment we were a few weeks ago,” said Dr. Nishant Joshi, an emergency and accident doctor who works at a hospital in north London.

“We are seeing more patients, and they are sicker and they are probably more contagious,” he said.

“It is therefore fair to assume that the EPP with which we were coping was a situation of success and hope a few weeks ago. It is fair to say that it is no longer enough.”

Prime Minister spokesman Slack said: “We are convinced that enough supplies are now reaching the front line” and that the government is working urgently to resolve any problems with the distribution of protective equipment.


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