Government has been aware of rocketing infection rates of new variant of covid-19 for two weeks before Prime Minister announced the Christmas lockdown last night
The new coronavirus lockdown measures introduced today could not have come a moment too soon for hard-pressed medical staff at Croydon’s Mayday Hospital, where special covid-19 wards were already filling up with serious cases of patients infected with the disease before the weekend.
There have been seven Croydon deaths in the past week, as the toll from coronavirus in Croydon this year has passed 500.
More than 67,000 people across the country have now died from coronavirus.
Last night, the buffoon of a Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was forced to scrap his idiotic position of trying to allow the nation to have a “normal” Christmas when he announced the renewed lockdown, with London and the south-east, including Croydon, being placed into a strict new Tier 4 set of restrictions.
This morning, the crocodile tears health secretary, Matt Hancock, said additional restrictions for England may have to remain for “the next couple of months” while a vaccine is rolled out.
In Croydon, there have been 1,764 new cases of coronavirus infections in the past week, a near-doubling of the numbers from the week before, reflecting the rapidly worsening situation across the capital and parts of southern England, where a variant strain of the virus has been spreading.
The latest data shows that incidence in Croydon is now 305.1 cases per 100,000 population, with 101 people being treated for coronavirus at Mayday Hospital, six of them in intensive care. By Friday, the total of deaths in Croydon from the effects of the virus had reached 35.
According to national public health data, hot spots with positive test rolling rates of more than 400 cases in Croydon include Upper Norwood and the Crystal Palace Triangle, New Addington South, Hamsey Green and parts of Shirley, Selsdon and Thornton Heath.
The new, Tier 4 restrictions mean that different households are not permitted to spend time together during Christmas as the Government had previously planned.
Under Tier 4:
- You can only spend Christmas with your household and support bubble if you have one – the “Christmas bubbles” of up to three households are no longer allowed in London and other Tier 4 areas
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Do not leave Tier 4 – you should not travel beyond your local area unless for a permitted reason, such as for work if you cannot work from home, a medical need, or to care for someone vulnerable
- Non-essential retail, gyms, leisure centres, and personal care outlets like hairdressers will close – shops like supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open
- No household mixing indoors or in private gardens
- You can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public place
- Continue to work from home if you can
- Communal worship can still take place
- Do not travel abroad – some exceptions like travelling for work may be allowed
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said last night, “London faces its toughest Christmas since the war and the whole city will need to pull together to see us through this terrible period.
“I urge Londoners to follow the new restrictions very closely, so that we can protect our NHS and prevent more tragic deaths.
“It would be such a tragedy to lose even more people to this disease when the vaccine is now being rolled out across our city and those lives could be saved.”
And Luisa Porritt, the LibDems candidate for London Mayor, said, “We are now facing the toughest restrictions yet again, all because Boris Johnson made that first decision too late.
“Throughout this pandemic, Boris Johnson has let us all down with his habit of dithering and delaying despite the scientific advice in front of him.
“His inability to make difficult decisions when required means we’ve all ended up paying a higher price, for longer than necessary.
“London’s economy has been badly hit by the tiers system, and the combination of another lockdown and a no-deal or very limited Brexit agreement in just 12 days’ time will be devastating.
“The closure of non-essential shops during what is normally their busiest time of year will mean that, as in the hospitality sector, some of these businesses are at risk of never opening again.”
Interviewed this morning on Sky News, health secretary Hancock admitted that he and his government colleagues had been aware of the rocketing rates of infection from the new variant covid-19 for two weeks.
“What is really important is that people not only follow them [the new rules] but everybody in a Tier 4 area acts as if you have the virus to stop spreading it to other people.
“We know with this new variant you can catch it more easily from a small amount of the virus being present. All of the different measures we have in place, we need more of them to control the spread of the new variant than we did to control the spread of the old variant. That is the fundamental problem.
“We know that because we know that in November that in the areas where this new variant started, in Kent, the cases carried on rising whereas in the rest of the country the November lockdown worked very effectively.
“It is an enormous challenge, until we can get the vaccine rolled out to protect people. This is what we face over the next couple of months.
“The cases in The tier 4 areas have absolutely rocketed in the last few days – the last two weeks or so. We have got a long way to go to solve this.”
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