UK’s PM Johnson Will Resume His Office amid Mounting Pressure for Lockdown Exit

Prime Minister (PM) of the United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson would resume his duty, after staying nearly two weeks in hospital due to contraction of COVID-19, amid the rising pressure from the opposition leaders questioning the government’s strategy for lockdown exit prompted by the coronavirus outbreak.

It was confirmed from a government spokeswoman that Johnson returned to his Downing Street residence on Sunday after recovering from COVID-19 but soon needed to explain how he would handle to ease a month-old virus lockdown.

Johnson’ Challenging Responsibilities

After Johnson’s recovering from the virus infection, UK foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab disclosed that the PM would resume full-time work on Monday by terming the moment as “raring to go.” However, citing the present trend of the virus crisis in the country, Raab stated that there were speculations that people might risk breaking the laws that imposed restrictions on people’s movements.

The death toll from COVID-19 in the country has crossed over 20,000 people with a new report of 413 death in 24 hours while the virus-infected cases reached 152,840 with an update of 4,463 new cases. With the present trend of the deaths in the community and in nursing homes, it was projected by analysts that the overall toll is likely to be significantly higher. Referring to the new development, Raab told Sky News, “We are at a delicate and dangerous stage and we need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed.”

Responding to an inquiry, Raab said that the government had been strictly following medical and scientific advice on preventive measures and focusing to ease the spread of the virus with an aim of a gradual progression to a “new normal.”

Opposition’s Attacks

It was reported earlier that the opposition Labour party’s leader, Keir Starmer had sent a letter to PM office seeking explanations on how and when the national lockdown, which created havoc in the country’s economy and people’s movements, would be eased. Starmer had been attacking Johnson that his government had failed to push timely responses to the virus pandemic and his policies were lagged from the rest of the world.

Citing the indifferent attitude of the Johnson administration was beyond tolerance, Starmer said in a statement, “Simply acting as if this discussion is not happening is not credible.” He had earlier bombarded questions on why the government was too slow to impose the lockdown, to expand testing, and to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospital and care home staff.

At the government’s daily briefing, UK farming and environment minister George Eustice said that the lockdown would next be reviewed “in a couple of weeks”. Meanwhile, Eustice put his concern on the lack of the migrant laborers who helped in harvesting fruits and vegetables of the country. He stated that a third of these laborers made to the UK before the lockdown and the government was looking for some of the furloughed workers to take a second job for harvesting.

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