UK PM Johnson says country could start easing virus lockdown next week

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 06, 2020, 11.23 PM(IST)

Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Johnson was speaking the day after the country's official virus death toll overtook Italy's to become the highest in Europe, with more than 32,000 fatalities related to COVID-19 -- behind only the United States in the global tallies.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday he could order lockdown lifting starting next week.

Johnson was speaking the day after the country's official virus death toll overtook Italy's to become the highest in Europe, with more than 32,000 fatalities related to COVID-19 -- behind only the United States in the global tallies, according to AFP.

The Prime Minister, however, warned he would do nothing to risk a new surge of cases.

He said that "every death is a tragedy," calling the statistics "appalling", but insisted there was not yet enough data to make reliable international comparisons.

In particular, he said he "bitterly regrets" the deaths in care homes, which stand at more than 6,000, but added that there had been a "palpable improvement" in the last few days.

The wider death rate is coming down, six weeks after the government imposed stay-at-home orders to stem the rate of infection, and the lockdown measures are up for review on Thursday.

Speaking in parliament for the first time since he himself was hospitalised with coronavirus, Johnson said the government would review the data and he would set out the next steps on Sunday.

"We'll want if we possibly can to get going with some of these measures on Monday. I think it would be a good thing if people had an idea of what is coming," he said.

(With inputs from AFP) 

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