England hospitals risk being overwhelmed without new tiered system: official

LONDON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Hospitals in England would risk being overwhelmed by coronavirus cases without the new, tougher tier system, a senior British official warned Saturday.

In an article published Saturday in the Times newspaper, British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove urged MPs to "take responsibility for difficult decisions" to bring the pandemic under control.

Gove said if the second lockdown, the month-long restrictions which will end on Dec. 2, were not imposed a month ago, the coronavirus crisis would have "broken" Britain's National Health Service (NHS), with hospitals "physically overwhelmed ... every bed, every ward occupied".

England is currently under the second lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak in Britain in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday a "tougher" tiered system of coronavirus restrictions to replace England's current lockdown when it ends on Dec. 2.

Gove stressed that the new tiered system is necessary as "we cannot unlearn the difficult lesson".

The previous restrictions were not tough enough as infection levels remained threateningly high, he noted. The proposed tiered system is scheduled to face a vote by MPs in the House of Commons (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday.

Another 15,871 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,605,172, according to official figures released on Saturday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 479 to 58,030, the data showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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