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Coronavirus: “We must act” to prevent re-blocking, the prime minister said

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Coronavirus: "We must act" to prevent re-blocking, the prime minister said

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Media headlineThe prime minister said the new measures “are not yet another national quarantine.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we must act” to avoid new isolation as cases of the virus are on the rise in England.

He established a new Rule of Six limiting meetings to six peoplethe police can impose fines or arrests.

Mr Johnson also outlined a “lunar” plan to fight the virus with mass testing, possibly by next spring.

This is due to the fact that the UK has 2,659 more cases of coronavirus, which for the fourth day in a row exceeded 2,000 reported cases.

“I want to be absolutely clear that these measures are not just another national isolation. The whole point is to avoid a second national isolation, ”Johnson said at the first coronavirus briefing on Downing Street since July.

He added that “it hurts me to insist on these restrictions.”

Over the past week, the number of cases has increased from 12.5 per 100,000 to 19.7 per 100,000 in the UK.

The coronavirus was more common among young people, with 54 cases per 100,000 in the 19-21 age group.

Mr. Johnson also announced that:

  • Places such as pubs and restaurants will be required by law to request each visitor’s contact information, store it for 21 days and provide it to NHS Test and Trace. They face a £ 1,000 fine if they disobey
  • Opening hours may be limited in some locations, as happened in Bolton, where establishments are expected to close between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am.
  • “Covid Defense Marshals” will be introduced to help ensure social distancing in cities and city centers.
  • Passenger search form to be completed by travelers arriving in the UK to comply with quarantine rules will be simplified and border control will strengthen controls
  • Plans to try out wider audiences at sites later this month will be revisited and the government revises its plan to admit spectators to sports stadiums from October 1
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Mr. Johnson said the rules “became quite complex and confusing” and the government “simplified and strengthened” them following police and public feedback.

But Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the new assembly rules reflect that “poor communication was a big part of the problem” with the spread of the virus.

Sir Keir said the government also needed to improve testing, which was “ubiquitous,” following reports that some people could not sign up for tests.

The prime minister said the government was “working on” increasing the testing capacity of 500,000 tests a day at the end of October, but urged people to only order a test if they had coronavirus symptoms.

He said they also want to use new types of tests “in the near future” to identify people who do not have coronavirus and who are not contagious so that they can live “more normal lives.”

He said these swabs or saliva tests can be done in 90 or even 20 minutes, with millions being processed every day.

The prime minister referred to the Apollo space program, describing the “giant collaborative effort” of that test program as a “moon shot” that could restore a more normal lifestyle even if a vaccine or treatment is not available.

“Vulnerable in the spotlight behind the scenes”

Despite all the talk about vaccines and rapid testing, it was clear – of course, listening to the UK’s chief medical advisor, Professor Chris Whitty – that this winter was going to be tough.

Respiratory viruses are generally better tolerated in fall and winter due to colder weather and the fact that people socialize more indoors. This is why every winter we see cases of influenza and, unfortunately, deaths.

Many experts believe the same will happen in the coming months, despite recent measures.

This means that the government has to make very difficult decisions. It must balance the impact of further restrictions, which could cause other harm to health, as well as education and the economy, with the risk of the spread of the virus.

The audience plays a huge role. But that alone may not be enough.

Behind the scenes, there is a lot of focus on how to protect the vulnerable – this could mean closing nursing homes and re-asking people to protect them.

But the UK is in a stronger position than it was at the start of the pandemic. Isolation bought time.

Better treatments are available, and while many testing and tracking challenges remain, existing systems are a step up from where we were when the virus first hit the UK.

These new tests will be conducted with audiences attending indoor and outdoor areas in Salford starting next month.

But the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the technology needed to be “rigorously tested” and it would be “completely wrong to assume this is a successful dunk.”

Chief Physician Professor Chris Whitty acknowledged that the measures that needed to be taken against the coronavirus were “harming” socially, economically and people with other diseases.

“We have to do this because the alternative is worse,” he said.

He added that “the period from now until spring will be difficult,” and people should not view the restrictions “as a very short-term thing,” because they are unlikely to be lifted in just two or three weeks.

Mr. Johnson said it was “too early to talk” about the possibility of hosting big parties at Christmas, but added that he “still hopes” that some aspects of life can return to normal by the holiday season.

He said the restrictions would only apply “as long as necessary.”

“I’m sorry about that. I wish we didn’t take this step, but as your prime minister, I must do whatever is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives, ”he said.

The new Rule of Six means:

  • Public gatherings more than six people in England will not be permitted by law Monday 14 September
  • New rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoorsas well as in places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and open public places.
  • it applies to all ages
  • The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, weddings, funerals and team sports
  • Full list of exclusions must be published before the law changes
  • people who ignores the police can be fined £ 100 – doubling for each violation up to a maximum amount of £ 3200.

Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said the new rules were “very flimsy” and would be difficult to enforce.

Currently, the guidance says that two households of any size are allowed to meet indoors or outdoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors. Until now, the police did not have the authority to stop assemblies if they did not exceed 30.

The number of people allowed to meet inside or outside varies across four UK countries. If you are meeting indoors: up to eight people from three different families can meet in Scotland; up to six people from two households in Northern Ireland; up to four households can form an “extended family” in Wales

In other developments:

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World

Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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