People have been filmed ignoring the UK’s curfew laws as a senior health official warns the country is “beyond” a coronavirus “tipping point”.
The UK currently has more than 606,000 cases of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will introduce a three-tiered lockdown plan of further restrictions on parts of England as the virus outbreak accelerates, though anger is rising at the cost of the stringent curtailment of freedoms.
Johnson will hold a meeting of the government's emergency COBRA committee on Monday (local time) and then address parliament, offering MPs a vote later in the week on the measures.
The local lockdowns will include shutting bars, gyms, casinos and bookmakers in some areas placed into the "very high" alert level, probably across the north of England, British media reported.
The UK government also recently imposed a 10pm curfew.
However, it seems not everyone is following it.
Footage taken from the streets of Peckham in London’s south by resident James Jones shows people crowding the streets for a game of cricket after curfew on Saturday night.
They cheer as a man strikes the ball with a bat.
But not all viewers were amused by the late night street cricket antics.
‘They just don’t get it’
“They just don’t get it,” one woman tweeted.
“Wonder how many of these people will be in hospital fighting for their life’s in a few weeks or months due to catching coronavirus.”
One man added the video shows “how stupid” some people are.
“The pandemic is never going to end at this rate,” another woman tweeted.
Martin McKee, the professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told The Guardian the UK is “clearly on the path of exponential growth”.
“I would say, actually, we are beyond the tipping point. To be perfectly honest, I think it’s perhaps being a little bit optimistic,” he said.
Why Europe is unprepared for a ‘second wave’
Experts say Europe’s high infection rate is due in large part to expanded testing that is turning up far more asymptomatic positives than during the first wave, when only the sick could get a test.
But the trend is nevertheless alarming, given the flu season hasn’t even begun, schools are open for in-person learning and the cold weather hasn’t yet driven Europeans indoors, where infection can spread more easily.
“We’re seeing 98,000 cases reported in the last 24 hours. That’s a new regional record. That’s very alarming,” Robb Butler, executive director of the WHO’s Europe regional office, said.
While part of that is due to increased testing, “it’s also worrisome in terms of virus resurgence,” he said.
Professor McKee added it’s also worrisome given many countries still lack the testing, tracing and treating capacity to deal with a second wave of pandemic when the first wave never really ended.
“They should have been using the time to put in place really robust ‘find, test, trace, isolate’ support systems. Not everybody did,” Professor McKee said.
“Had they done that, then they could have identified outbreaks as they were emerging and really gone for the sources.”
with Reuters and The Associated Press
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