London Councilors and Mayor Sadiq Khan have urged Boris Johnson to immediately implement stricter coronavirus measures – including the closure of places of worship – otherwise there is a risk that the NHS and public services will be “unsustainable”.
After a serious incident was reported in the capital last Friday due to the increasing cases of Covid-19, Georgia and the chairman of the London Council, Georgia Gould, wrote to the prime minister demanding action similar to those in March and April.
Aside from closing places of worship, they called on the Prime Minister to make wearing masks outside the home mandatory – including in queues in supermarkets, on main streets and in other potentially crowded outdoor areas.
The four main demands also include the government providing more financial support to Londoners who are self-isolating and unable to work, backed by improved asymptomatic tests for key workers.
The two heads of state and government also called for the introduction of vaccines across London to be accelerated and for daily vaccination records to be made available by borough and ethnic group.
“We know how difficult these decisions are and how they will impose further severe restrictions on the Londoners,” the letter said. “As the new infection rates remain high, we have no choice but to ask you to implement them.”
Mr. Khan and Ms. Gould said places of worship are “critically important to the communities” and “we would not make this request if the situation were not very serious”.
The letter also calls for four other temporary measures: an urgent review of what constitutes essential and non-essential retail, stricter guidelines on how retailers can prevent unsafe queues and overcrowding, the ban on click and collection services in non-essential retail chains, and one stronger guidance on size limits for weddings, funerals, and similar gatherings.
“The measures we are calling for should be checked regularly. However, if they are not implemented urgently, we fear that the transmission of the virus will continue to spread in the capital and not put a lasting burden on our NHS and public services, ”the letter said.
The two heads of state and government pledged to support the introduction of vaccination and asked Mr Johnson to review the distribution formula. They said current plans would leave London and other major cities “with fewer vaccines per capita compared to less populated areas”.
“Currently every Primary Care Network (PCN) in England is receiving an even distribution of vaccines, despite the large differences in the size of the populations serving PCNs. We urge you to review this formula and urgently increase vaccine distribution in London, ”the letter reads.
While Mr. Khan and Ms. Gould admitted that vaccinating the first four cohorts on the government’s vaccination priority list “should lower the death rate over the next few weeks and months,” they expressed frustration that it is currently not possible to quit the vaccine the next to roll out five mostly younger cohorts.
“It is these younger groups, the 40 to 60-year-olds, who present themselves in large numbers in hospitals,” said the two leaders.
“It is also this group that is hospitalized longer because they are less likely to die from the virus but will need longer hospital treatment to recover.
“Our NHS is unable to meet this demand for this length of time and it will ultimately lead to health problems for everyone.”
Mr Khan has also written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that the measures he announced on Friday for international travel did not go far enough.
While passengers now won’t need a negative Covid-19 test more than 72 hours prior to travel, Mr Khan said more details are needed about what type of tests are required.
He said the UK Border Forces continued reliance on spot checks to ensure the newcomers self-isolate did not comply with quarantine and enforcement rules in place in other countries, as well as the £ 500 fine for violations and exemption of cabin crew the regulations.
It came after the NHS medical director for London warned Tuesday that the capital’s hospitals were facing an increasingly dire situation.
Dr. Vin Diwakar said London now has nearly 8,000 inpatients with Covid-19, compared with 4,000 on December 25.