Boris Johnson: UK has vaccinated more than Europe combined
Boris Johnson secured the overwhelming backing of MPs for the latest lockdown in England in a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday, putting his new restrictions into law. The third national lockdown – which was introduced by the Prime Minister on Monday – involves a stay at home order, meaning people can only leave their homes for a list of set reasons such as buying food or for medical emergencies. Speaking in a televised address to the nation, Mr Johnson said the rules would be in place until mid-February at the earliest, leaving schools closed until the half term.
However speaking to LBC Radio on Thursday morning, Priti Patel refused to be drawn on whether there would be any easing of restrictions before March.
She said: “I would love to say, of course we would love to see that and say that but that’s not for us to speculate.
“We all just need to absolutely whack this virus down, we’ve got to reduce the R factor… it’s a wretched, wretched disease, it really is.
“Right now the focus of the Government and the NHS is to get the jab into people’s arms.”
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What time is Boris Johnson announcement today?
Boris Johnson is expected to host another briefing from Downing Street on Thursday night.
As yet, it is not clear what time the latest announcement will be, however.
It comes after the House of Commons voted with a 508 majority for the new lockdown measures last night.
Only 12 Conservative MPs voted against the stay-at-home rules, joined by four DUP MPs opposing the regulations.
Speaking before the vote, the Prime Minister told MPs.“After the marathon of last year we are indeed now in a sprint, a race to vaccinate the vulnerable faster than the virus can reach the.
“Every needle in every arm makes a difference.”
Seven mass vaccination centres will open next week in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage.
But with Covid cases continuing to rise, some fear the latest lockdown was not put in place soon enough.
Record numbers of patients also currently in hospital with coronavirus, with a further 3,500 admitted in England on Monday, January 4.
And the UK reported a further 1,041 people had died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test as of Wednesday – the highest daily reported total since April 21.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “This is a tragedy. It’s not bad luck. It was not inevitable. “The Government has been too slow to react. We now need a national effort to get our country vaccinated.”
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Boris Johnson says Starmer showed ‘derision’ towards vaccine
Hospital bosses have warned the NHS in London is at breaking point, and will be short of nearly 2,000 general and acute and intensive care beds by January 19 – even if the number of Covid patients grows at the slowest rate expected.
According to The Health Service Journal, NHS England London region medical director Vin Diwakar said in a presentation that growth on January 5 was 3.5 percent for G&A beds and 4.8 percent for intensive care beds.
The hospital trust outlined three scenarios for intensive care, plus general and acute care, which are:
- “Best”, which projects 4% daily growth
- “Average”, which plots 5% daily growth
- “Worse”, which forecasts 6% daily growth
While hospital bosses elsewhere in the UK are seeking capacity from the care and nursing home sector as beds fill up with new Covid-psoitive patients.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers said: “This is escalating really quickly. We’ve seen 5,000 new patients in hospital beds with Covid-19 over the past week – that’s 10 full hospitals’ worth of Covid patients in hospitals in just seven days, so it’s a really big challenge.
“We are now reaching the point in some places where hospital beds are full, community beds are full and community at home services are also full.
“What trust leaders are trying to do is they know there is some spare capacity in the care and nursing home sector and they’re in the middle of conversation with care and nursing home colleagues to see if they can access that capacity.
“It’s literally leaving no stone unturned to maximise every single piece of capacity we’ve got in those areas under real pressure.”
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