New variant of Covid-19: The UK government is on the verge of economic crisis

The spread of a new type of coronavirus in the UK has plunged the country into an economic crisis, putting its economy on the brink of collapse.

In November 2020, the UK government announced that the incidence of coronavirus cases in London and South East England has been on the increase. On 20 November, it announced that a new type of coronavirus had spread in the country and the government was unable to control it. The announcement stunned the world as the development of a vaccine by a number of pharmaceutical companies and its distribution in countries where the virus had disrupted the normal course of life had raised expectations to see the world return to some normalcy; but the news of the spread of a new type of coronavirus in the UK raised doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines which have been produced so far and the debate has been raised in scientific and academic circles that the new type of virus is likely to destroy the effectiveness of all vaccines developed.

Recent reports indicate that out of every ten reported cases of coronavirus in London, six are infected with the new strain of the virus. Preliminary studies suggest that the new strain of the virus can be easily transmitted from person to person, but so far there is no evidence that this is more deadly than the previous strain. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has warned that the new virus is spreading 70% faster than its predecessor. Imperial College London has also announced that the new type of virus is structurally different from its predecessor and is spreading much faster. The levels of coronavirus cases are continuing to rise with one in 85 people in England infected according to the Office for National Statistics. The WHO has also announced the new strain of coronavirus. According to the report the new strain, which has spread in Britain is more contagious, but there is no evidence that it is more deadly. Preventing the transmission of the new species is vital because the more new strains are released, the greater the chance of mutation, the report said. The WHO has also said that measures can be taken to control the new type of virus and that its spread is not uncontrollable.

Currently, most people with the new type of coronavirus are British, but cases of the virus have been reported in other countries such as Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and Germany. Given the growing prevalence of the new type of coronavirus around the world, if it infects a large number of people in a short period of time, it means that treatment sites as well as more equipment for treatment will be required. Therefore, increased pressure on hospitals means that not all needs can be met and this can worsen the situation.

Since the emergence of the new type of coronavirus, many countries have become concerned about the consequences and dangers and have reduced their contacts with the UK to a minimum. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have suspended all international flights to the country, as well as land and sea traffic, for a week. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Iran are also among countries which have suspended flights to and from the UK.

This is happening at a time when the UK economy was already in a crisis due to the pandemic. The Independent, in a report examining the impact of the pandemic on the lives of British people, said that according to opinion polls, since March, nearly 18 million Britons have been forced to use their credit cards and are now overdrawn, or have borrowed money from friends and family. According to the report, nearly half of UK households with children have been forced to go into debt since the pandemic began. This has made UK a country whose people continue to live on financial credit.

Now, with the outbreak of the new strain of virus in this country, other countries as well as members of the EU are trying to protect their people and their economies. While the new strain has created worries across Europe, the EU has not yet agreed on a common strategy to combat it and each country has been making its own decisions and implementing them independently. The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, has stated its opposition to a ban on transport to the UK and vice versa. It is therefore necessary to take precautionary measures; but at the same time, essential travel and the movement of goods to EU countries must be maintained. The European Commission has stressed that the ban on flights and rail travel must be lifted, because essential travel must take place without disrupting the supply chain. The Commission also called for a coordinated approach and stressed that all unnecessary trips must be avoided.

The new type of coronavirus strain detected in the UK has forced some to flee infected areas and forced some to stock up on food and health items for fear of shortages.

Panic buying, as in the first wave of Covid-19, has left shelves empty in some stores. In addition to the devaluation of the pound sterling against other currencies, the London Stock Exchange has also lost 33 billion pounds. With the news that Boris Johnson was informed of the new type of coronavirus through the Department of Health and Social CareĀ (DHSC) in mid-September, there have been many protests against his mismanagement.

Following the spread of the new variant in the UK, France closed its borders to passengers as well as freight from Britain. This has led to clashes between truckers and French police. The protesters, who are generally non-British nationals, want to cross the border as soon as possible. So far, more than 40 countries have banned entry from the UK due to these concerns. The situation is getting worse day by day due to the Christmas holidays. Although Boris Johnson claims that the supply chain is strong, the continuation of the current trend can lead to a shortage of goods and foodstuffs, much of which is supplied through EU countries. Also, without importing oil and other materials needed by the country’s industries, its economy will be affected and economic growth will be in crisis in the short term. The closure of factories due to the impossibility of exporting goods as well as the lack of raw materials to produce goods are among the negative impacts of border shutdowns and travel restrictions imposed by other countries on the UK.

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