Coronavirus lockdown extended for ‘at least’ three weeks
- Credit: PA
The lockdown restrictions currently imposed by the government during the coronavirus crisis are to be enforced for ‘at least’ the next three weeks.
Speaking in the government’s daily press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed current social distancing measures must remain in place to prevent a deadly second wave of the virus, officially known as COVID-19.
Meanwhile Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has urged residents to continue respecting the guidelines to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.
The UK was put into lockdown on March 23, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation to announce strict curbs to life in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading.
There have now been more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the virus throughout the UK, with 13,729 hospital patients sadly losing their lives.
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In Suffolk, the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen to 527, with the figure for Essex currently at 1,647.
However, it is widely accepted that the number of the people who have the virus will be much higher due, as many people with symptoms have not been tested.
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In the absence of ill Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Raab chaired a COBRA meeting with government officials on Thursday before the briefing, where the decision to extend the lockdown was announced.
He said: “Overall, we still don’t have the infection rate down as far as we need to.
“Any change to our social distancing measures now would risk a significant increase in the spread of the virus.
“That would threaten a second peak of the virus and substantially increase the number of deaths. It would undo the progress we’ve made to date.
“The government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.
“The worst thing we can do is ease up too soon.”
Mr Passmore added: “It has been very difficult for the last few weeks. Nearly everybody in Suffolk has been following the guidelines.
“Please don’t throw away the pains that we have suffered by ignoring the guidelines. We have still got a lot to do.
“It is crucial that we work together. It will take effort, but it is a community effort.
“These restrictions are there for a purpose - so we can come out the other side stronger.”