COVID-19 | Coronavirus

Boris Johnson still refuses to take drastic action for UK

Boris Johnson in the center surrounded on the right by his scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, and Chris Whitty, chief medical adviser, in London, Monday, March 16.
Boris Johnson in the center surrounded on the right by his scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, and Chris Whitty, chief medical adviser, in London, Monday, March 16. RICHARD POHLE / AFP

The United Kingdom continues to set apart. While the country recorded 1,543 coronavirus contaminations (including 407 in London) and 55 dead Monday evening March 16 (65% increase), Boris Johnson announced a series of additional measures to try to slow the spread of the epidemic. These decisions remain less drastic than those taken in recent days by other European countries.

At a conference in Downing Street, Johnson essentially appealed to the will of his fellow citizens, giving special advice to Londoners ” even if you have no symptoms, restrict your interactions, limit your trips to the essentials and favor teleworking. ” “Now is the time to avoid pubs, clubs and theaters”, he added.

Ms. Johnson also “Highly recommended” to the “More fragile”, to know “People over 70, people with pathologies and pregnant women, to isolate themselves”. Goal : “Slow down and smooth out the peak of the epidemic. “It’s also about taking the right steps at the right time, based on the best scientific advice, insisted the Prime Minister flanked by his chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and the chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty. The epidemic is progressing faster than expected, especially in London. If we don’t go further, the number of infections could double every four to six days. “

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“We are a mature democracy”

Why didn’t you impose mandatory measures, asked a journalist? “We are a mature democracy, a society of adults, people understand the nature of our measures”, replied the Prime Minister, adding that if the United Kingdom did not follow the path now adopted by almost the entire European Union, it is because “Each country is at a different stage of the epidemic, and our action must be launched at the right time to be effective.”

There is therefore still no question of closing British schools, unlike everywhere else in Europe, “Even if it is not excluded”, said Mr. Johnson. He made no mention of a possible border closure or the need to confine retirement homes. However, M. Vallance, his scientific adviser, conceded that the country “Is only three weeks away from the Italian situation”, against four evaluated so far. And he advised people who have someone in their household with symptoms of coronavirus, to isolate themselves “Fourteen days” instead of the seven days recommended for sick people, last weekend.

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