UK COVID-19 “Freedom Day” worries scientists and doctors as cases of Delta variants spread


London — England advances Monday’s so-called Free Day to mark the end of legal blockade regulations and coronavirus health restrictions that have been in force since March 2020.

On July 19, the last remaining closed business, including nightclubs, was reopened, and wearing masks is no longer a legal requirement in public places, “Expected and recommended” In a crowded indoor area. The government no longer encourages people to work from home.

For some, this day is a welcome milestone in the fight against the coronavirus that devastated the area. Britain suffers from the highest death toll in Europe, More than 128,000 dead.. However, for others, including some ICU doctors and scientists, the increasing number of cases of delta variants can be counterproductive to mitigating the rest of the measures.

on Friday, 36,800 new cases Of the delta variants, 54,268 were reported the previous week, compared to 54,268 reported in the United Kingdom during the week of July 14. The total number of reported variants was 253,049, an increase of 17% from last week.

Although the number of delta variant infections has declined weekly, public health officials are still concerned about its spread. They warn that hospitals may see a surge in hospitalizations as more social contact is allowed.

NHS Notice Warns About COVID-19 Variant in Birmingham, UK (Mike Kemp / In Pictures via Getty Images)

Notice of National Health Service in Birmingham, England. (Photo via Mike Kemp / Getty Images)

“I’m very worried about it, alongside many of my colleagues in the medical community,” said Amir Khan, a doctor at the National Health Service (NHS). Speaking to the current affairs TV program “Good Morning Britain” When asked about Free Day on Friday.

“We talk about the effects on the NHS …. When patients with COVID enter the intensive care unit, they spend about 20 days in the ICU if they need ventilation on average. That is, the bed It cannot be used for any other purpose, “Khan said.

“Therefore, if you are planning heart surgery, for example, if my mother has angina and needs to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting, ICU treatment may be needed later. These ICU beds I can’t have surgery because it’s used. It’s been used for a very long time, “he explained.

The British government claims that the deployment of fast-moving vaccines could lift the remaining blockade restrictions. We believe that the fact that the number of deaths and hospitalizations is much lower than before, despite the surge in cases, is evidence that vaccines have saved lives and can be released more safely. I am.

So far, two-thirds of adults in the UK have been vaccinated twice with the coronavirus vaccine. Currently, all adults are eligible for the first dose in the UK.

“I think it’s the right time to go,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news conference on Monday. Not finished. “

“Taking these steps requires caution and vaccination,” Johnson said, adding that “COVID hospitalizations and deaths will increase” in England.

Passengers wear face masks and depart from the London Underground station.  (Dave Rushen / SOAP Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Passengers wear face masks and depart from the London Underground station. (Dave Rushen / SOAP Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

However, many British scientists have outlined their opposition to the government’s decision to move forward, arguing that the vaccinated population is not sufficient, the so-called exit wave, or social interaction. Criticized the wave of infections that are expected to follow the rise in the population.

Dr. Stephen Griffin, an associate professor at the University of Leeds School of Medicine, told Yahoo News that the decision to resume on Monday was a “dangerous and irresponsible experiment.”

Griffin, one of the 122 scientists who signed the first bitter letter issued on July 7 in the journal Lancet Criticizing the policy, “Everyone I know [in the field] We recognize that what they are trying to do on Monday causes serious problems for us. “

“What’s really very annoying is this idea that there must be a wave at this exit,” Griffin said. “We don’t have to have an exit wave because we don’t have to open as we do.”

“We could be wise about this. We know what works,” he explained. “But we also know what promotes mass spread. It encourages people to gather indoors without wearing masks. That’s what happens on Monday.”

People dine and interact at the outdoor tables on Old Compton Street in Soho, London.  (Photo via Mike Kemp / Getty Images)

People at an outdoor table on Old Compton Street in London’s Soho district. (Photo via Mike Kemp / Getty Images)

In other countries, most unrestricted orders have been cancelled. On Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted that the coronavirus restrictions had been lifted too early in the Netherlands and apologized after the infection surged to the highest levels of the year.The nightclub was open two weeks ago Will be closed again In the country.

However, some British who have overcome the pandemic limits are not worried about the risks and believe that it is time for the country to return to normal.

“It’s never been the best time to resume, but many people are now vaccinated. I don’t know why,” London high school teacher Miles Smith told Yahoo News. It was.

Smith, an avid club fan before the pandemic, said he couldn’t wait for the door to open at midnight on Sunday.

“I will be at the beginning of the queue … [After] For the past 18 months, that’s what we all need, “he said. “I just want to dance with strangers again.”

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