UK cabinet divided over the decision to extend coronavirus lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital after being treated for coronavirus on Sunday

With some ministers arguing for the extension of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK by another six weeks, reports suggest that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet is split over ending the lockdown in the country.

The in-existence social-distancing restrictions were implemented on March 23 for a duration of three weeks, with the last day being due on Monday. Nevertheless, these measures will continue beyond the deadline the government has already stated.

Ministers split over lockdown

The report quoted a Cabinet source as saying that Ministers were now split between wanting to save lives and wanting to protect the economy, as some fear current action to keep the public safe could create bigger problems for the UK in the future.

According to The Sun newspaper, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel want the current lockdown to be extended by three weeks, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Michael Gove have said that the UK needed more time than that.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson concerned about planned U.S. recognition of Jerusalem
Boris Johnson

"Power vacuum" without Johnson in charge

They were reportedly pushing for a six-week extension, meaning the measures will be lifted on May 25. Johnson is currently recovering from coronavirus, after he was admitted to hospital on April 5 with 'persistent symptoms'.

He was then moved to intensive care on the next evening, but returned to a general ward later in the week. The Prime Minister was discharged on Sunday but would not return to work immediately. The Cabinet source said there has been a "power vacuum" without Johnson in charge.

Cases still on the rise in the UK

So far, the UK has reported confirmed cases so far 85,212. Also, the Boris Johnson-led country has reported 10,629 casualties. 303 people have recovered so far. The prime minister himself is recuperating at his county residence Chequers after being discharged from St Thomas' in London.

(With inputs from agencies)

Related topics : Coronavirus