- Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has temporarily replaced Boris Johnson, who remains in hospital.
- Confinement in the UK is less stringent than in other neighboring countries.
- The UK is becoming the new hot spot for the pandemic in Europe.
The British government is discussing, on Thursday, the need to extend the lockdown in the country after the first three weeks. The decision must be taken in the coming days without Prime Minister Boris Johnson, still in the hospital, although his health is “improving.” Nearly 8,000 Britons have died of COVID-19, with 881 added in the last 24 hours.
The executive’s cabinet and its medical and scientific advisers will meet and discuss on the government crisis response committee, known as COBRA, chaired by Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who temporarily replaces Johnson. “I don’t think it’s very likely these measures are going to be changed given they’re just starting to have an effect but, as we said, we would review them,” Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told BBC News on Thursday morning.
“It’s only prudent that on an ongoing basis we review them after three weeks.” Dowden added, “but we have a well-established mechanism for the first minister, Dominic Raab, to take the prime minister’s place in chairing such meetings, he will chair Cobra and he will chair the relevant decisions. This is just about going through a proper process, that’s why we’re waiting for next week.”
Confinement in the UK is less stringent than in other neighboring countries. Its inhabitants are allowed to go out to work— if absolutely necessary— to shop, to see a doctor and to exercise. Many of these are totally prohibited, for example, in Spain. Physical exercise is theoretically limited to once a day, but unlike France, it does not require written justification, there is no effective police control and the parks are packed with people running.
With the arrival of the Easter holiday, the authorities multiplied the messages in conventional media and social networks insisting that people “stay at home.” The UK is becoming the new hot spot for the pandemic in Europe.
Johnson Still in Hospital
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 55-year old Boris Johnson, has been in the intensive care unit at London’s St Thomas Hospital, near Westminster, for four days. “He is stable, getting better, he can sit down and talk to medical personnel,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. “I believe things are better,” he added. The government insisted that the Prime Minister did not need a ventilator, and that he kept his spirits up.
He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 27 and immediately quarantined in his apartment in Downing Street. But ten days later, while other patients, like Prince Charles— the 71-year-old heir to the throne— had recovered, he continued to have symptoms, including fever. His doctors decided to hospitalize him on Sunday for tests, but a day later his condition worsened and he had to be transferred to intensive care.