Among Western leaders, the British Prime Minister was initially quite determined not to order a blockade to combat the Covid-19 epidemic. But he was the first of them infected.
A positive test by Boris Johnson is pushing the British government , which has been heavily criticized, into crisis. Widespread virus anxiety within the government has increased as two other high-ranking officials have also been positive, according to the New York Times .
Earlier Prince Charles, 71, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, also said it had been positive. Britain faces the prospect of having to deal with the most serious crisis since World War II while senior leaders have to quarantine.
The virus threatens senior British officials
Mr. Johnson, 55, said he would continue his work. He posted a video on Twitter, taking himself as an example to call people to work remotely and adhere to the government’s measures of distance-keeping.
Health Minister Matt Hancock was also positive for the coronavirus. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hancock claim to have only mild symptoms. Thus, the two politicians directly in charge of dealing with the disease in England were both infected.
These were drastic changes for the British government, and only a little more than two weeks ago had remained calm despite the epidemic in Europe.
The British government’s chief medical advisor, Chris Witty, also said he was having symptoms and was quarantining himself. Concerns about officials meeting Prime Minister Johnson.
Several other world leaders, including those in Germany and Canada , have isolated themselves in recent days. But there is no country in the West where the political system is threatened by diseases like in the UK in the past week.
An important question is how many people have come in contact with Mr. Johnson in recent days.
Many people who work on Downing Street have started quarantining themselves after symptoms. But there is no mechanism to track the contact process, according to officials.
British testing efforts have also been criticized in recent days for failing to keep up with other European countries.
However, Mr. Johnson still tries to lower the risk to cabinet officials or officials who have contacted Mr. Johnson, arguing that the government has followed the recommendations issued to the public, that is, keep a distance of 2 m.
A week of drastic change in policy
Until this week, Mr. Johnson was still quite calm compared to other European countries. “I shook hands with all,” he said of a recent visit to a hospital that treated Covid-19 patients.
At that time, the British Prime Minister did not want to close bars and restaurants, even though he asked people not to gather. He still open school even though France and Germany were closed.
Johnson insists his decisions are based on medical and scientific advisers, and has a clear strategy based on behavioral science, under which the government should introduce measures to limit exposure. Slowly, in the right order, there is public compliance.
But at the same time, government officials caused a public backlash when it came to the concept of “herd immunity”, and some documents seemed to mention the ability for the virus to freely spread to a large number of people. People have natural immunity, helping them fight the virus when there are subsequent outbreaks.
The number of infections has also begun to rise sharply, overloading the health system. An important report from Imperial College London warns that the number of deaths could reach 250,000.
That horrible forecast made Mr. Johnson change his decision over the weekend. On March 23, he banned gathering on two people in public, and urged people to stay home, only to go out when they had to buy food, medicine or be forced to work.
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK has surpassed the 1,000 mark. According to official data released on March 28, the UK had 1,019 deaths, a sharp increase from 759 cases a day earlier.
As of the afternoon of March 28, there were 17,089 people in the UK who were positive for Covid-19, out of a total of 120,776 tests.
Since then, Mr. Johnson has been constantly calling for people to keep their distance, calling for the British to unite in a national effort that feels like Britain was bombarded by Germany during World War II, the New York Times commented.
In just two days, more than 600,000 people signed up to voluntarily support the National Health System (NHS) or support more than 1.5 million elderly and high-risk people, which the government has requested to isolate itself. 12 weeks. On the evening of March 26, tens of thousands of Britons stood on the balconies and applauded the doctors.
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