London, Jan 14 (EFE) .- The detection of a new variant of the coronavirus in Brazil has led the United Kingdom to veto the arrivals of travelers from South America and Portugal, while the British Government strives to accelerate its vaccine program in the face of the alarming advance of another mutation, apparently more contagious.
Hundreds of pharmacies are preparing to help immunize the population at risk as of today in England, where the health system begins to show signs of saturation and various hospitals have been forced to suspend transplants and other operations.
More than 2.6 million Britons have already received a first dose of a vaccine against covid-19 and the Executive expects to have vaccinated around 15 million in mid-February.
The United Kingdom reported 48,682 new infections today, about a thousand more than yesterday. After registering 1,546 deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday, the daily maximum since the pandemic began, the Government warned of a delay in today’s figures due to a “problem with the processing of data on deaths.”
AVOID THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW VARIANT
From 4:00 GMT next morning, trips to the United Kingdom from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela will be banned to try to avoid the importation of the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus.
Arrivals from Portugal and Cape Verde are also suspended, due to the close relationship of both territories with Brazil.
Citizens with British or Irish nationality, as well as residents of the United Kingdom, will be exempt from these restrictions.
Carriers arriving to the British Isles from Portugal will also be exempted, in order to ensure the delivery of “essential goods,” detailed British Transport Minister Grant Shapps.
HALF A MILLION DAILY DOSES
Six pharmacies in England have begun to offer the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday and about 200 are preparing to do so over the next two weeks.
The executive director of the Boots pharmacy chain estimates that if 100 of his establishments receive the green light to vaccinate, they would be able to inoculate up to 500,000 daily doses.
Like the medical consultations that already participate in the vaccination program, pharmacies will receive 12.58 pounds for each injected dose (14.17 euros), which according to government calculations will allow the plan to have a neutral cost for the firms private.
The number of hospitalized patients with coronavirus in the United Kingdom amounts to 36,489, above the maximum peak of 21,684 that was recorded on April 12, during the first wave of the pandemic.
The health agency that coordinates organ transplants in the country (NHSBT, in English) has reported that 13 of the 68 facilities that usually perform such operations are completely stopped.
Birmingham University Hospital announced today that it has temporarily suspended kidney transplants due to the “critical situation” it is going through.
SCOTLAND REVEALS SENSITIVE DATA
The Scottish Government revealed today that the autonomous region will receive 309,382 doses of vaccines next week. According to an extrapolation calculated by the newspaper “The Times”, this figure suggests that the whole of the United Kingdom will receive 3.8 million.
The Scottish Executive was forced to delete the document with these details due to the discomfort it caused in the central government, which fears that other countries will put pressure on pharmaceutical companies if they know the amount of vaccines they send to the United Kingdom, according to that newspaper.
“There is a huge demand for vaccines around the world. So far we have not commented on the amount we receive,” he limited himself to expressing in that regard the official spokesman for the prime minister, Boris Johnson.
(c) EFE Agency