Britain’s main doctors’ union is calling on the government to delay plans to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions as new data shows a spike in cases of the highly transmissible delta variant.
The British Medical Association said on Friday that “reasonable delay” would help prevent the rise in infections.
Government figures on Friday showed 8,125 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since February. The delta variant, originally identified in India, now accounts for 90% of all new cases in the country.
According to the COVID-19 roadmap established by the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all restrictions related to the pandemic are expected to be lifted on June 21, one week from Monday.
However, in an interview on Friday, England’s COVID-19 Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Times Radio that the nation needed to be very careful with openness, given the dominance of the delta variant.
Zahawi said the government should take a very careful look at this coming weekend’s data and share it with the nation and then decide to reopen.
Johnson is expected to announce on Monday whether the planned lifting of restrictions will continue.
The Sun The newspaper reported on Friday that Johnson would delay easing the lockdown restrictions.
Meanwhile, Chicago became the largest American city to fully reopen on Friday. At a press conference officially announcing the reopening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that for over a year Chicagoans have endured so much, but they have done their part every step of the way.
“You’ve masked yourself, you’ve been vaxxed, and now it’s time for you to get up, get out of the house this summer and fully and safely enjoy the events of the best city on the planet, our city well. -loved Chicago, ”Lightfoot mentioned.
Earlier on Friday, leaders of the G-7 countries announced they would donate one billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to low and middle-income countries. The United States will donate 500 million doses, while Britain will donate 100 million doses.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that 64% of Americans 18 and older had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that due to slowing demand for vaccinations, some states have stopped new vaccine dose orders and others have returned millions of doses to the federal government. States returning vaccines to the government include Tennessee and North Carolina, although less than half of their populations have been vaccinated.
In other developments on Friday, the Malaysian government said it would extend the national two-week lockdown by two weeks, as daily infections remain high at more than 6,000.
Sri Lanka also extended its lockdown for an additional week as deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Friday.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said on Friday that the number of global COVID-19 infections had reached more than 175 million. The United States remains the place with the most cases with 33.4 million infections, but India is quickly catching up to more than 29.3 million infections.
India’s Ministry of Health reported more than 91,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday in the past 24 hours. Public health officials say they suspect the cases in India could be underestimated.