The UK has the seventh highest death toll in the world, 128,708, and is forecast to soon have more new infections each day than it did at the height of a second wave of the virus earlier this year. “This is the right moment but we’ve got to do it cautiously. We’ve got to remember that this virus is sadly still out there.” On Sunday there were 48,161 new cases.
But Mr Johnson’s big day was marred by “pingdemic chaos” as a National Health Service app ordered hundreds of thousands of people to self-isolate — prompting warnings supermarket shelves could soon be emptied. If the vaccines prove effective in reducing severe illness and deaths even while infections reach record levels, Mr Johnson’s decision could offer a path out of the worst public health crisis in decades. If not, more lockdowns could loom.
“If we don’t do it now we’ve got to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it?” he said. Mr Johnson’s bet that he can get one of Europe’s largest economies firing again because so many people are now vaccinated marks a new chapter in the global response to COVID-19.
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