Boris warned failure of COVID restrictions has UK on track for ‘catastrophic’ new lockdown

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Boris Johnson has been warned he might be forced to introduce a new “catastrophic” national lockdown if local restrictions continue to fail. Despite local lockdowns, cities like Manchester and Bradford have been experiencing a concerning rise of new coronavirus infections. Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Newsnight: “If this doesn’t work, I think we are looking at an Israel scenario of another, much longer, period of severe restrictions.

“And that’s catastrophic for so many reasons.

“Those who talk about a segmentation and shielding strategy acknowledge it will only work if you have rapid tests for carers, for example, so that you can really protect that part of the population.

“And those bits of our public health infrastructure that are not performing in the way they should, testing in particular, is part of the reason why we are where we are now.”

The Prime Minister has faced much criticism over his Government’s failure to deliver on a much-promised “world-beating” test and trace system.

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The UK has experienced a 56 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases over the past week, with infections reaching over 51,000 in the last few days.

Mr Johnson is believed to be considering the option of expanding restrictions on the hospitality sector in some areas despite him already facing criticism for the 10pm curfew in place on pubs and restaurants for the past two weeks.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged Britons to come together once again to defeat the virus and ensure the NHS survives the winter.

Mr Hancock said: “We are at a perilous moment in the course of this pandemic.

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“I am very worried about the growth in the number of cases, especially in the northwest and the northeast of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and parts of Yorkshire.”

Hospitalisations in the northwest are doubling approximately every fortnight. They have risen by 57 per cent in just the last week alone.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing hospitalisations in the over-60s rising sharply and the number of deaths from coronavirus also rising.”

Mr Hancock added: “The message to the public must be that we all have a part to play to control this virus.

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“Our strategy is simple – suppress the virus, supporting the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe.”

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, warned southern England could be hit hard by the second wave of COVID-19.

Dr Stokes-Lampard said: “I’m based in the Midlands and we are seeing problems in Birmingham, but we are also seeing issues in Coventry, Nottingham, and it’s working further south.

“We are also seeing some interesting patterns starting to happen in London again.

“So yes this is a problem actually affecting all four nations of the UK.”

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