Global Upfront Newspapers
Breaking News Cover News World News

Back at work, British PM Boris Johnson faces lockdown Catch-22

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work on Monday to the biggest dilemma of his premiership: how to lift the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown that is destroying swathes of the British economy without triggering a deadly second wave of the outbreak.

Johnson, 55, is back in Downing Street almost a month since testing positive for Covid-19, which threatened his life to the shock of the nation just as the crisis was reaching a peak.

His inbox is full to bursting.

His government, party and scientific advisers are divided over how and when the world’s fifth-largest economy should start returning to work, albeit in limited form.

“He will be back in the driving seat as we speak,” a junior health minister Edward Argar said.

“He is raring to be back and he is full of energy as you would expect.”

Johnson was due to chair the government’s daily Covid-19 emergency response meeting on Monday, but Argar added that it was still too early to lift the lockdown.

Johnson’s deputy, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, said social distancing would be in place for some time yet.

The United Kingdom is one of the worst-hit nations, with more than 20,732 hospital deaths reported as of Saturday.

But the most stringent lockdown in peacetime has left the economy facing possibly the deepest recession in three centuries and the biggest debt splurge since WWII.

At the start of the outbreak, Johnson initially resisted imposing a draconian lockdown but then changed course when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die.

Criticism

Since the lockdown was imposed on 23 March, his government has faced criticism from opposition parties and some doctors for limited testing capabilities and lack of protective equipment for some frontline health workers.

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer urged Johnson to set out when and how an economic and social lockdown might be eased – as did some Conservative Party donors.

“Simply acting as if this discussion is not happening is not credible,” Starmer wrote in a letter to Johnson.

He said the government had been too slow to impose the lockdown, to expand testing and to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospital and care home staff.

Johnson is expected to announce plans for how the lockdown could be eased as early as this week, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Latest data on Sunday showed deaths related to Covid-19 in hospitals were up by 413 in the previous 24 hours, the lowest daily rise this month. A total of 29,058 tests were carried out on 25 April.

Based on those statistics, the United Kingdom has the fifth-worst death toll in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France.

But the full British toll is much higher as statistics for deaths outside hospital – for example in care homes – are slower to be published.

However, of the National Health Service medical director in England Stephen Powis said the “very definite” downward trend in coronavirus cases in hospital demonstrated that social distancing was reducing virus transmission and spread.

– Reuters

Advertize With Us

See Also

Nigeria’s transport grant isn’t the best way to allocate fuel subsidy savings: Here’s what is

Global Upfront

Edo Polls: Panic in Obaseki camp as Oshiohmole men line up behind Ize-Iyamu

Global Upfront

Chinese study not sufficient to conclude COVID-19 is sexually transmitted- Experts

Global Upfront

COVID-19: Nigeria records 1,002 deaths, 52,227 confirmed cases from 378,023 sample tests; 322 new infections Sunday

Global Upfront

Romania’s Prime Minister fined for breaking own Coronavirus rules

Global Upfront

Nigeria: Jigawa State Man, Hannafi Yakubu, Beats Daughter to Death

Global Upfront

Bob Marley Plays Forty Years Onto Eternity, By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Global Upfront

Ontario, Canada invests in historic campaign to accelerate tuition-free training for 8,200 new Personal Support Workers

Global Upfront

Kaduna lawmaker among six killed Monday night along Kaduna-Zaria highway

Global Upfront

Soludo Calls for Disruptive Change in Nigeria, Accuse Politicians of Turning Politics into Business

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More