September 19, 2020 - 11:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Roughly 10 million people in England face new virus restrictions amid a spike in new cases. The country’s once-vaunted testing system is on the verge of collapse. And Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain is contemplating closing restaurants and pubs to corral a second surge in Europe’s worst-affected country, The New York Times reports.
Johnson is also facing rising anger over his contradictory edicts. Over the summer, he offered people a government-subsidized discount at restaurants and pubs but spoke bluntly on Friday, September 18 about the virus advancing across Britain.
“There’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect and we are now seeing a second wave coming in,” Mr. Johnson said in a television interview. “I don’t think anybody wants to go into a second lockdown, but clearly when you look at what is happening, you’ve got to wonder whether we need to go further than” the new law forbidding gatherings of more than six.
“It does seem ironic,” said Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, “after encouraging mass attendance at pubs, cafes and restaurants,” that restrictions on those activities were being considered.
The R number, a measure of how many people on average a single patient will infect, rose to between 1.1 and 1.4, the government said on Friday. Any number over 1 is a worrisome indication that the epidemic is growing.
In the week ending September 10, there were roughly 6,000 new daily cases outside hospitals and nursing homes in England, the government’s official statistics authority estimated, nearly a doubling from the week before.