Britain’s upper house on Wednesday approved emergency legislation designed to help the Boris Johnson government tackle the coronavirus outbreak, paving the way for the far-reaching bill to become law.
The laws will create temporary powers across different areas, from giving police and immigration officers the ability to detain people to protect public health, to allowing people to leave their jobs to volunteer in the health service.
Having been approved by parliament’s elected lower house earlier this week, the bill now only requires the rubber stamp of ‘Royal Assent’ before it officially becomes law. This is expected by Thursday, and could come earlier.
UK’s Retired medics return to fight virus
Thousands of retired doctors and nurses have returned “to the front line” to deal with the coronavirus challenge, besides nearly 19,000 final-year medical students, as the UK grapples with staff and equipment shortage in the fight against Covid-19.
The UK has reported 8,077 cases and at leat 422 deaths so far.
A call for volunteers to perform non-medical tasks in the UK’s National Health Service was immediately responded to by over 170,000 people within 24 hours. However, reports suggest that the massive NHS recruitment drive risks being undermined by the prospect of doctors quitting over fears of inadequate protective equipment.