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Independents' Day

Prime Minister announces UK lockdown starting tonight

The Prime Minister has ordered social settings such as pubs, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and leisure centres to close tonight. 

This is the latest of a series of moves to mitigate the effects of coronavirus (Covid-19) and follows the announcement earlier this week that schools and colleges were to close as of today, with A-Levels and GCSEs also cancelled. 

Speaking in today’s press conference, Boris Johnson voiced the need to ‘push down further’.

He urged people to stay at home tonight, even before closures are officially implemented, and acknowledged that this may go against the ‘freedom loving instincts of the British people’.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I am confident that in time the UK economy is going to bounce back, of course it is. But I must be absolutely clear with you, the speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now.

‘These are places where people come together, but the sad thing is I’m afraid today, for now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.

‘The more effectively we follow the advice we are given, the faster this country will stage both a medical and economic recovery in full.’ 

Eating establishments may operate for take-aways only, and the situation will be reviewed each month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that the Government will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 a month.

The World Health Organization has also appealed directly to young people today, reminding them that they are ‘not invincible’.

This comes as the UK’s total of confirmed cases rose to 3,983, an increase of 714 since yesterday.

London is identified as significantly ahead of the rest of the country in terms of cases. The city's Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, has declared a ‘critical incident’ and that they are unable to accept more Covid-19 patients. 177 people who tested positive in the UK have died.

Readers' comments (7)

  • DrRubbishBin

    The West Midlands is also a hotspot

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  • Vinci Ho

    (1) This is one of the few times I have to agree with the prime minister politically . Collectivism is the only hope in here . Nature is sending us a message(more a lesson actually) that certain ways we have been conducting our lives have to be changed ?? Perhaps this is natural selection , perhaps not?And we , human beings , obviously have some genuine soul-searching when this is over , whenever it is over .
    (2) We are where are . It is irresponsible and meaningless to carry on arguing against each other whose ‘theory’ is correct about Covid-19 e.g. where did it come from in the very first place ? Does face mask work ?
    The fact is we are still learning about the behaviour of this ‘perfect virus’ and we can only adhere to the phenomena we can all see globally . Nothing more , nothing less . At this point of the story, all countries are converging eventually to two words ‘lockdown’ and ‘isolation’ regardless of liberal or autocratic political system .
    (3) The phenomena we all can witness in China and Italy is beyond denial . Whether we were early or late in our responses, is now irrelevant as far as moving forward is concerned. We can only utilise the resources we have in our hands right now and try the best to help each other provided that we have not been ‘struck down’ . That is why I referred to a war mentality and of course , many of us including myself ( 55 years old ordinary citizens)are still young to have real life experiences compared to our parents .
    (4) Yes , more will die not just because of those directly caused by Covid-19 , but also the collateral damages as our NHS is inundated by these critically ill Covid-19 patients confined in hospital beds , while patients with other serious medical conditions have no where to be treated .
    Primary care and general practitioners has undoubtedly a vital role in saving the country in this crisis . But the government and its senior NHS leaders must climb down their high horses and provide all the means we need on frontlines unreservedly to help all vulnerable patients who will be thrown into a ‘jail sentence’ for at least 3 months . The complications of this drastic measure is far-reaching , pervasive and omnipresent, saying the least .
    (5) If the financial tsunami in 2008 was a consequence of extreme neoliberalism and globalisation rebuked by reflexive populism and protectionism( so we have Mr Trump , Brexit), Covid-19 has naturally triggered an ‘inevitable’ protectionism and isolationism(ironically instigated by China , one big beneficiary of globalisation pushing One Belt , One Road )swinging the pendulum further to an unimaginable end with desolation and decimation . The virus has clearly no political preference.
    Perhaps the irony has reminded us once again , we human beings do not really want to the lessons.
    Perhaps , this is the unique ,historic time and opportunity to set aside our differences and disputes fuelled by arrogance and bigotry to stop these ‘actions and inactions’ against each other .
    Perhaps , there is a brave new world with a ‘New Order’ beyond this crisis .

    I apologise that if this is too long a comment but this will be the single , most serious challenge in my whole medical career when I look back at the end of life . Cannot say this more lightly

    And for all my honourable and brave colleagues,
    Valar morghulis
    Valar dohaeris
    May the force be with you
    Every effort one gives will count ...........
    So say we all .........

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  • Vinci Ho

    A collection of well-balanced arguments if you still have time to read and not exhausted by Covid-19🧐😎

    Coronavirus: What could the West learn from Asia?

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    ENT consultant died. Like how that's been silenced. He should be paraded in reverence. RIP.

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  • Vinci Ho

    On the subject of PPE specifically, I only have one message to the prime minister and health secretary:

    I hope you have read carefully and thoroughly the tragic story of Dr Li Wenliang in China and his ignominious treatment leading to his death from Covid-19 by the Chinese government.
    There is only one message :
    ‘ A government must listen to all frontline healthcare colleagues and act accordingly.’
    And please do not give me the excuse that this kind of injustice would only happen in a totalitarian, autocratic regime .

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  • Stephen Powis says its shameful that people are stockpiling and denying NHS staff food. And it is.
    I tell you what is also shameful Stephen, sending out and cynically covering up out of date PPE.
    And nobody talks now about the decimation of the primary care workforce by the collective efforts of the CQC, GMC and HMG, so that we are now woefully under-staffed to deal with this crisis. That is shameful.
    And the fact that once we have passed this peak, all those fugitives from the frontline and sadistic sycophants will take up their cudgels against the GPs once again and resume the torture. That's shameful.
    Watch it happen...

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