LONDON (AP) – Britain on Saturday deployed door-to-door corovirus tests in two northern English cities with the support of public health officials and the military, in a bid to quickly spread an option that threatens to lift all restrictions next month.
In India, the first case of the strain has more than doubled in a week, with months of limited restrictions and a sharp decline in the number of infections acquired through the rapid vaccination campaign. Government advisers say the version is likely to be more transmissible than the UK mainstream, or it is unclear to what extent.
“If the virus is highly contagious, we are likely to face some difficult elections,” Prime Minister Boris John Onson told a news conference on Friday. “I must assure you that this can be a serious obstacle to our progress.”
He said the next round of blocking measures would take place as scheduled on Monday, but warned that the option could delay all plans to lift all restrictions on June 21, including social distance and face-covering rules.
John Onson said the troops would help conduct “surge tests” in the towns of Bolton եք Blackburn in north-west England, where vaccine leaflets were being set up to speed up the vaccination campaign.
The government’s scientific advisory committee says there is no evidence yet that the variant is causing a more serious illness or that existing vaccines will not work. More than two-thirds of adults in the UK received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 37% received both doses.
The government is reducing the gap between doses for people over the age of 50 for 12 to eight weeks to give them more protection.
The Government Emergency Management Team says the Indian-designated version, officially known as B.1.617.2, could be up to 50% more transferable than one registered in South East England last year. is now the predominant species in the UK. But they say there is high uncertainty about the exact figure.
Mark Walport, a member of the advisory group, says the new version has “intensified” the race between the virus and the “vaccines”.
“The tip of the knife on which the race is sitting has just sharpened,” he said.
Britain has recorded almost 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest in Europe. But new infections fall to an average of about 2,000 a day, compared with nearly 70,000 a day during the winter peak, and deaths reach a single day.
The restrictions that have hindered travel, business, and everyday life for months are gradually being lifted. From Monday, restaurants and pubs in England can be opened inside, museums, theaters, cinemas, hotels can be reopened, people can “hug” friends and family members they do not live with.
Scotland, Wales և Northern Ireland follow similar but slightly different paths. The Scottish Government is restricting the city of Glasgow, in the northern part of Mora, due to an increase in the number of cases there.
Critics say the government should have acted sooner to ban travelers from India, which was embroiled in a devastating outbreak of the coronavirus.
Labor lawmaker Yvette Cooper says the government has not banned visitors from India until April 23, which decides on “hundreds of new options”.
“It was predictable, but it was not inevitable,” he said.