U.K. Premier Boris Johnson Wants Some Easing Even As Covid-19 Deaths Continue

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Prime Minister Johnson wants some easing of lockdown. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Estonian Presidency.
 
[The View From London]
 
The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has signaled an easing of some lockdown measures next Monday, even as Covid-19 deaths continue, mirroring U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach. Johnson will provide more details on Sunday on how the U.K. government intends to relax some of the restrictions placed on the population. Scotland will be guided by its own medical expert advisors.
 
Hundreds continue to die in U.K. hospitals. On May 6 a further 331 deaths from Covid-19 were recorded in hospitals in England; while coronavirus deaths in the UK-wide stood at 649 during the same period.
 
The U.K. now has the unenviable title of having the highest number of deaths from coronavirus in Europe, with 30,150 recorded fatalities as of May 7, second globally only to the U.S. with 73,573 confirmed deaths. Germany is far behind with only 7,322, this has given the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the confidence to ease their lockdown by allowing shops to reopen, with social distancing guidelines still to be observed, and the soccer league given the green light to resume towards the middle of May albeit behind closed doors. Italy has recorded 29,684 confirmed deaths and Spain has recorded 25,857 confirmed deaths.
 
Johnson told members of parliament (MP) at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday: “We want if we possibly can to get going with some of these measures on Monday.” This will be welcomed news for the thousands who feel this lockdown has gone on for far too long, many people have completely ignored the lockdown all together. But statistics show the Brits overwhelmingly support these lockdown measures. People are skeptical about returning to work believing there will not be enough adequate protection to shield them from the disease; citing the fact that even people on the front line of the fight against Covid-19, nurses, doctors and people working in the care-homes don't have sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). One hundred and twenty-seven National Health Service (NHS) personnel and 29 care workers have so far lost their lives from the coronavirus.
 
Metro, a daily free publication in the U.K., reports: “Activist and campaigners of color have started a fund to help black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME), communities recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
 
The group -- Resourcing Racial Justice (RRJ) - aims to provide financial support to front line organizations, grassroots and community groups that are working to reduce the impact of Covid-19 and systemic racism on communities of color. It has been widely reported that coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities.
 
The mortality rate has been so high in BAME communities that the government has launched a review to investigate the possible causes. Numerous experts and commentators have also said that the high number of minority deaths from coronavirus “magnifies the U.K.’s institutional racism”.
 
In response to this deadly  inequality, Resourcing Racial Justice has been launched to provide support and funding -- and they are encouraging organizations, community - led groups and individuals working with communities of color to apply.
 
The fund is currently made up of financial contributions from foundations, philanthropic organizations and crowdfunding.
 

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