Frontline doctors warn coronavirus ‘war’ not over ahead of UK lockdown changes

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Frontline doctors have warned the Covid-19 “war” is not over ahead of stricter UK lockdown rules banning social gatherings of more than six people.

Medics working in some of the hardest-hot regions across the country are reporting coronavirus wards are still slammed with cases amid soaring infection rates.

While England faces stricter lockdown measures on Monday, millions of people across the globe have been placed under stricter measures also.

In the Philippines, tens of millions were forced to re-enter lockdown last month after cases began to rise five-fold.

By mid-August, the daily infection rate was averaging 4,000 – with fears the health care system would collapse if lockdown was not re-enforced.

Dexter Galban, speaking to the Metro from Manila, said: “It’s heartbreaking because the business community is really struggling to stay afloat and keep people emplyed.

“But at the same time the healthcare system is crying for help in light of the rapidly increasing number of cases of Covid-19.

“Now, more than ever, we need to have the audacity to hope so that we may all keep fighting the good fight.”

In Valencia, Spain, Dr Cristina Chicote, said despite calmer intensive care units at the moment, the fact experts are only now understanding more on how the virus works means “the big battle may be over, but the war is not yet won”.

Brazil, one of the world’s worst-hit countries, last week reported the number of infections had reached an astonishing four million.

President Jair Bolsonaro played-down the threat of the virus as it took hold of the country – despite catching coronavirus himself.

Gabriela Macedo, a trainee doctor in Joinville, south Brazil, said “things have gone crazy” in the past two months.

She told Metro.co.uk: “In the very beginning, people were still believing in Bolsonaro, that it was just a little flu, but they didn’t want to go to hospitals and triage centres.”

Brazil now has the second highest death count in the world behind the USA.

In the UK, daily positive cases has soared to roughly 3,000 of late, with Boris Johnson set to confirm new rules aimed at reducing the disease’s spread on Wednesday.

People who disobey will face £100 fines, which will double on each subsequent occasion up to £3,200.

From Monday, gatherings of more than six people will be illegal due to concerns around the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rising to almost 3,000.

Currently, the lawful limit on gatherings is 30 people.

The chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, have agreed that the action is needed urgently after the number of positive cases rose steeply.

In a Zoom meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, police forces said they would like rules on social contact to be simplified.

The rules will apply across England to all ages and to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

This will include private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants and they will be applied to all ages.

This means that you cannot sit at a pub or restaurant table with more than five friends at any given time, although it is unclear how many “bubbles” that group could be a part of.

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