Ministers claim that the Covid data currently available does not suggest any need for new curbs in England.
Edward Argar, the Health Minister of Canada, appealed for calm and cool heads. Steve Barclay however stated that there has been a significant change in behaviour as a consequence of Plan B.
For the last 12 days, Daily Covid cases exceeded 100,000
The British Medical Association’s council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul urged ministers for a reduction in case numbers.
England and Wales reported 137 583 daily cases on Sunday and 73 deaths after a Covid test was positive. After the weekend bank holiday, data for Scotland and Northern Ireland will be available.
England’s latest statistics show that 162,572 cases were reported Saturday. This was a record for the fifth consecutive day.
NHS leaders have warned about increasing pressure on healthcare workers in the face of rising hospital admissions, staff absences, and the introduction of the booster program.
Argar said that the current Covid data did not support further Covid actions, even though he spoke before the figures were released.
He said, “We need calm, cool heads.” Times Radio echoed the words of the health secretary on Saturday, saying that new curbs should “not be the absolute last resort”.
According to him, the data is changing “day-by-day” and ministers are keeping an eye on it.
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When asked if additional measures might be announced, Mr Barclay from the Cabinet Office said that the government didn’t believe the data support such an announcement “at the stage”, but added that they would continue to review it.
According to him, the combination of the December Plan B and booster programmes, as well as behavioral changes, was a crucial way to avoid the necessity for additional measures.
He stated that “the widespread use of tests is an example of how the British public are taking responsible steps to ensure their safety and keep their friends safe”
In England, Plan B currently includes face-coverings for indoors, Covid passports that allow entry into nightclubs or large events, as well as advice on working from home.
Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland have already implemented additional restrictions. This includes the closing nightclubs, limiting live events, socializing with other people, as well as new hospitality rules.
This week, secondary school pupils in England will be returning to their schools wearing masks. It is a way to bring England into line with other parts of the UK.
Covid-related work absences are also a matter of concern for ministers. Leaders in the public sector were asked to prepare for an extreme scenario, where up to 25% of employees are absent.
Dr Nagpaul explained that 25% of healthcare employees would be unable to attend work. This could have a negative impact on patient care, service delivery, and the quality of medical services.
He spoke to BBC News and urged government officials to lower the rate of infection and give doctors better access to Covid testing. Also, to provide more personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that patients are safe.
According to recent figures, the number of hospitalizations in England is at its highest since January 2021. However, in just a month, Covid-related absences from NHS hospitals have almost doubled.
Chris Hopson chief executive at NHS Providers (which represents health trusts) said today that understanding Omicron’s effect on the NHS would take place in the following days.
According to him, staff are working hard and there is now more pressure on the NHS than last January.
The health secretary warned Saturday of an increase in NHS patients in the following month. This, he stated, was likely to “test the limits” more than in a normal winter.
People in Wales were urged not to visit the Morriston Hospital emergency room due to “staff shortages worsened” by Covid.
On Sunday, there were 123.5547 new infections and deaths in England. Wales had 14,036 cases, and fourteen deaths.
The figures for Wales cover Friday’s 24-hour period from 09:00 GMT to Friday. A new update will be available on Tuesday, which will include the weekend bank holidays.
The current restrictions in England are set to expire 26 January. However, a review of the situation is anticipated within the next few days.
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