In an alarming development, the United Kingdom (UK)'s Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson has once again announced a nationwide lockdown, saying that the new variant of the coronavirus was spreading at an "alarming rate" making another lockdown imperative, reports Hindustan Times.
The development comes as the UK has continued to register more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases for seven days in a row even as the nation as begun vaccination to immunise the population against the infectious disease.
UK has deployed vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for the immunisation drive against Covid-19. It has already inoculated 1.5 million people so far and has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer and 100 million of the Oxford vaccines.
In his address to the country, UK PM Johnson pressed on the need for people to stay at home and said that the new set of restrictions will stay in force from Wednesday (6 January) for six weeks. He said, "It has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading. Our scientists have confirmed this new variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible."
"As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic. In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000," he added.
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