British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday urged the public to obey the national lockdown as coronavirus deaths continued to rise steeply but new case numbers fell this week.
“Please really think twice before leaving the house this weekend and only do so if it’s absolutely necessary,” Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter.
The prime minister was expected give a televised press conference later Friday alongside top medical and scientific officials to discuss the situation.
The plea for compliance came as government figures showed fatalities within 28 days of a positive virus test had risen by nearly a third in the last week, taking the mortality toll to 87,295, the highest in Europe.
Health officials announced another 1,280 deaths on Friday.
While infections have surpassed 3.3 million, with another 55,761 recorded Friday, new cases have fallen nearly 14 percent in the last week.
All of Britain is under tough lockdown restrictions and people are supposed to stay at home except for over-riding reasons such as work, childcare and exercise.
Officials believe the declining case rates are due to the stringent rules, but concede there will be a time lag before hospitalisations and deaths may also drop.
In a bid to inoculate the most vulnerable against COVID-19, Britain is rapidly rolling out its programme.
It has so far issued more than three million doses as part of a drive to vaccinate the four groups of most vulnerable people by the middle of next month, and every adult by the autumn.
“Jab by jab, we will win this fight against COVID,” Johnson said, vowing that this “extraordinary national effort is only going to accelerate.”
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British PM tells public to stay home as deaths soar (2021, January 15)
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