LONDON – Britain will do everything possible to avoid ordering a second national shutdown of COVID-19 because it believes it will do more harm to the country, the minister said on Thursday.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in all parts of Britain, which were heavily attacked by Europeans and a deep ban on any leading G7 economy after a delay in closure when the first wave of the epidemic struck in March.
But as France and Germany ordered new national closures, housing minister Robert Jenrick said the British government’s clear policy was to use the strictly restricted territorial boundaries in northern England.
The government’s approach to the virus is being kept under review, however, said Jenrick.
After the summer solstice, the virus began to spread again in September and a study by Imperial College published on Thursday showed that cases doubled every nine days, with about 100,000 people infected in England each day.
Some scientists say stricter measures should be made but the government is struggling to keep the economy open after spending fell by 20% in the second quarter and public debt rose by more than two billion pounds.
Steven Riley, research correspondent for Imperial College, told BBC Radio that Britain should act sooner and David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy, said he was shocked and disturbed by the rapid spread of the virus across Europe.
Of particular concern now, he said, was preventing hospitals from completing the COVID-19 cases as that would lead to an increase in unrelated deaths. British data show that there are 9,520 patients in hospitals with COVID, the highest rate since May 14.