Alok Sharma, the UK’s Indian-origin Business Secretary, has urged the general public to abide by the restrictions imposed across the country in an effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Sharma’s remarks on Thursday came as the UK reported 33,470 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily increase since the onset of the pandemic, according to official data released Thursday.
The current overall caseload stands at 1,260,198.
“This is a reminder to us about why we are taking action to stop the spread of the virus,” Xinhua news agency quoted Sharma as saying at a virtual press briefing in Downing Street on Thursday.
“The virus is still there, it is still a danger” despite a looming hope of a vaccine, he said.
Sharma announced that 2.2 billion pounds will go to local councils on Friday to help them make payments to local businesses, saying that the government will keep providing support to protect the economy amid the pandemic.
“We’re forging a path out of this predicament,” he said, urging the public to continue to follow social distancing guidance.
Joining Sharma for the press briefing, Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of National Health Service, England, said: “More infections means more deaths and more people suffering the debilitating effects.”
“Don’t stop now” when it comes to following the lockdown, Powis said, calling on Britons to get tested and isolate when necessary.
The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK has surpassed the 50,000 mark, making the country the fifth in the world to hit the tragic milestone, following the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.
The UK with a total of 50,457 deaths is the first European nation to record more than 50,000 coronavirus fatalities.
England last week entered into a month-long national lockdown, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak began in the country.