What Occurred the return to lockdown
A second nationwide lockdown was imposed on England this week, to avert what the Prime Minister called a”medical and ethical disaster” for the NHS. Pubs, restaurants, health spas and non essential stores are to remain closed for four weeks, and there are strict curbs on travel and socialising. Unlike in spring, the Government has insisted that colleges, colleges and universities will stay open. In a bid to mitigate the economic effect, the furlough scheme is being extended through November: and this time the self-employed can also claim support worth 80 percent of their gains. Many MPs in Boris Johnson’s own party opposed the steps, but MPs still voted in support of this program by the vast majority of 516-38.
By comparison, Wales’s Enforcement authorities — which two weeks ago introduced a”firebreak” lockdown — stated that rules on home mixing could be rested from Monday. In Scotland, a new five-tier method of constraints came into force this week. Johnson was first urged by the Government’s Sage group to adopt stricter restrictions in September, but resisted as he”thought it was And if, on 13 October, Labour’s Keir Starmer called to get a circuit-breaker lockdown, he was called an”opportunist”, insisting such a policy could be”disastrous” for the nation. Nowhe has caved in, unveiling a raft of new measures in a postponed press conference on Saturday, hours after the plans were leaked to newspapers. The PM is once again requesting us to make extraordinary sacrifices,” said The Times. His challenge now will be to”be certain that the sacrifice is worth it”.
Balancing wealth and health is difficult, said the Daily Mail. Yet the economic fallout from the lockdown — the countless companies wrecked,the millions who may lose their jobs, the”looming epidemic of poverty” — might kill as many as the virus will. This depressing development risks inflicting untold harm, consented The Sunday Telegraph. The PM has a tough job handling the virus; but this time, he has made completely the incorrect call.
Exactly what the commentators Stated
It is not as if Downing Street hadn’t been cautioned, said Tom Kibasi in The Guardian. Epidemi- ologists predicted another wave months past; Sage warned in July that it could cost 85,000 lives. Yet”as Johnson had dithered in March, he dithered again in October”, when fast action could have saved lives. Now, England faces a longer lockdown than would have been necessary had ministers only bothered to listen to their advisers. By the time they eventually did so, the virus was spreading exponentially, stated Tony Allen-Mills in The Sunday Times. On 1 September, there were 59 Covid patients on ventilators in English intensive care units; from 28 October, there were 788. At the point, the PM felt there was little selection for England but to follow France and Belgium to a”hardcore, but potentially lifesaving” lockdown.
Well, I’ve looked at the rationale behind the decision, said Ross Clark at The Daily Telegraph
•and, frankly, it”does not pass the smell test”. The Government’s change of heart followed closely Public Health England’s warning that Covid deaths may hit 4,000 a day by Christmas. But that doomsday scenario looks far-fetched: new instances happen to be slough off. And when I asked PHE to the science supporting its warnings, I drew a blank. The case for a lockdown was”far from a slam dunk”, agreed David Smith at The Times. However there’s no reason to believe that — although it will send the economy into reverse — this lockdown won’t be as catastrophic as the first. The economy has increased rapidly in recent years, and the rules are somewhat less restrictive than before. If the lockdown ends immediately, Britain can still hope to get a”W” shaped recovery.
•if — a vaccine will be available, we need to start looking for the long haul,” said Camilla Cavendish in the FT. Even when people do get a vaccine, it is unlikely to remove Covid entirely.
Relying on lockdowns at the long term is not sustainable. “We must learn to live with this item.”
The PM says that he is not planning England’s lockdown to continue past 2 December, and that’s when he needs a return to the tier system. He’s warned that Christmas might be”quite different” this year, but said he hoped”tough action now” will mean households can be together for the festive season.
NHS England mind Sir Simon Stevens said GP practices were being composed to this particular week to tell them to prepare to deliver a vaccine by Christmas, if one become available. In addition, he cautioned that there are currently 10,000 Covid-19 patients in English hospitals — from 2,000 in early October.