Prime Minister Boris Johnson in England, where the Corona virus is seen to be more contagious, announced quarantine measures that will be valid throughout the country until mid-February. Speaking after the rapid increase in the number of cases in the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the country is going through a critical period.
Under the new quarantine measures, face-to-face education will be suspended at primary and secondary schools and universities. The education of the children of essential service employees will continue in schools.
University students will not be able to return to school campuses until mid-February. Workplaces that are not essential and provide personal care services such as hairdressers will be closed. Restaurants will only serve take away.
“Difficult weeks await us”
The British Prime Minister emphasized that the type of the virus, which is stated to be more contagious, is spreading rapidly and that action should be taken immediately to slow the epidemic.
“Our hospitals have been under greater pressure than ever since the beginning of the pandemic,” Boris Johnson said in his speech, broadcast live on all television channels in England. Most of the country is already under strict measures, but it is clear that we need to take more steps together to contain the new strain of the virus. For this reason, we must go through a period of quarantine, which is harsh enough to control this new species across the country, ”he said.
The British Prime Minister underlined that very difficult weeks are waiting for the country in combating the epidemic. It is stated that harsher measures such as curfews and the banning of families from gathering in England may be brought to the agenda.
The number of patients receiving treatment in the hospital increased
26,626 Corona virus patients are under treatment in hospitals across England. The number of patients receiving treatment in the hospital has increased by 30 percent compared to a week ago. The number of patients treated in hospitals in the country is 40 percent higher compared to the worst period of the first wave in the spring.
The number of new cases seen in the UK in a day has exceeded 50 thousand. The virus-related casualties in the country reached 407 only on Monday.
Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in use
The new quarantine measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson coincided with the day when the vaccine developed in partnership with Oxford University and AstraZeneca was introduced in England.
82-year-old dialysis patient Brian Pinker was the first to have the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that if the vaccination program progresses as planned and both the number of cases and the data of loss of life respond to quarantine measures, the process of quarantine can start in mid-February. However, he emphasized that one should be cautious about the quarantine calendar.
England buys 100 million doses of this vaccine. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is based on the viral vector technique. For this reason, it is cheaper and easier to use compared to other Corona vaccines developed by competing companies using RNA technology.
The new vaccine will be administered in a limited number of hospitals at the first stage in order to observe side effects. The National Health Service (NHS) announced that hundreds of new vaccination centers, including practices, will also be operational this week.
Dose controversy in vaccination
Although British Prime Minister Johnson said the vaccination program would be accelerated, some elements of the vaccination plan in the country sparked controversy. The vaccine developed by both Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer is given in two doses. Pfizer recommended that the second dose of the vaccine be administered within 21 days of the first dose.
However, the United Kingdom’s Joint Commission on Vaccination stated that the vaccine should be administered to as many people as possible, using the first dose rather than being reserved for second doses; It extended the 21 days between two doses of the vaccine to 12 weeks.
The commission stated that two doses were required for the vaccine to provide full protection against the virus, but noted that both vaccines provided a high level of protection after the first dose.
It was argued that giving the first dose to as many people as possible would increase the benefits of the vaccination program in the short term.
Some experts have pointed out that politicians have to strike a balance between the possible risks that may arise from this change in the midst of a deadly pandemic and the benefits that this approach can provide.