England to undergo 'hardest yet' lockdown with massive surge in COVID-19 cases
England is once again going to shutdown as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a new coronavirus lockdown, expected to last until mid-February.
The Prime Minister said that everyone must stay at home during this period, apart from those with permissible reasons. All schools and colleges will remain closed and online learning will be resumed.
The "hardest yet" lockdown will come into effect from Wednesday as a mutated strain of COVID-19 has lead to a massive surge in cases. Johnson called the speed at which the new variant is spreading as "both frustrating and alarming."
On January 4, 26,626 Covid patients were in hospitals in England, up 30% compared to the week earlier. This beat the peak of admissions in the first wave, which was 18,374 on April 12 last year. The country is now 40% above that level.
In his address to the nation, Johnson said, "With most of the country already under extreme measures, it's clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out."
New figures said that the UK is on course to exceed 1,00,000 COVID-related deaths before the end of the month if urgent action is not taken.