UK opposition slams govt. response to pandemic

The leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party has criticized the government's response to the current surge in coronavirus infections as inadequate.

Keir Starmer made the remarks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to public broadcaster the BBC on Sunday.

The country had confirmed over 50,000 new cases for six days in a row as a variant of the virus is spreading. Restrictions on people's outings and orders to close almost all non-essential shops are already in place in southeastern England, including London.

Johnson said "It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in many parts of the country." But he did not mention any details.

Starmer criticized the government's handling of the matter. He called for further restrictions all over England within the next 24 hours, adding that such measures have to be the first step to controlling the virus.