British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the people to stay calm as the government decided to impose complete lockdown across the country following a new coronavirus strain.
Speaking at a press conference, Boris Johnson advised people to continue shopping for the holiday season as usual, reassuring them that the supply of food and medicines will not be affected by the new wave of the coronavirus and the resulting border travel bans the country has been facing.
He revealed that he held a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Boris Johnson said he understood the reason for the new measures and expressed hope for a swift resumption in the free flow of traffic between the UK and France, perhaps within a few hours.
From Canada to India, one nation after another banned flights from Britain, while France barred the entry of trucks from the UK for 48 hours as countries around the world assess the new coronavirus strain.
The British prime minister said that he is aware of precautions of various countries regarding the new virus while 0.5 million people have been vaccinated in the country.
The precautions raised fears of food shortages in Britain if the restrictions drag on.
As Johnson confirmed that more than 500,000 people had received the first dose of the only approved Covid vaccine, scientists said harsher measures now could save the lives of those yet to be immunized.
On the other hand, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria had banned flights from the U.K. and Germany considered limiting such flights to curb the spread of Coronavirus’s second wave across the globe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted late Saturday that, “We’re in close contact with U.K. officials on the new #COVID19 virus variant.”
The new strain of coronavirus was identified in southeastern England in September and has been circulating in the area since, a WHO official told.
“What we understand is that it does have increased transmissibility, in terms of its ability to spread,” said WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19.
Studies are under way to better understand how fast it spreads and and whether “it’s related to the variant itself, or a combination of factors with behavior,” she said.