- Health services “at the limit”, according to the health lobby
- Britain’s first vaccine successes halt
- Minister of Business Kwarteng: not the time for Plan B
LONDON, October 20 (Reuters) – British hospitals are on the verge of guarding themselves and people should wear masks and ask for vaccines to avoid being overwhelmed by a growing wave of COVID-19 cases, said Senior medical officials Wednesday, as the government resisted calls for new measures.
Britain has the eighth highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with nearly 139,000 deaths. But he also started his vaccination program quickly and Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in England, ending social distancing measures and mask warrants.
Johnson’s government has said it relies on vaccinations, including booster shots for vulnerable people, to avoid lockdowns during a turbulent winter, having already shut down the economy three times. Read more
But the vaccine rollout has stalled, slipping behind several other European countries, while a booster program is slowly taking off.
“COVID-19 cases are increasing and winter is approaching. If you haven’t been vaccinated, now is the time. If you are offered a recall, please accept the offer, ”said Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
“Ventilation, masks in crowded indoor spaces and hand washing remain important. “
Doctors have expressed concern that an increase in the number of hospitalizations, combined with pressure on the NHS from seasonal viruses, could prevent hospitals from coping with long waiting lists and functioning normally. Read more
Matthew Taylor, Confederation’s chief executive of the NHS, called for measures Johnson is holding in store, such as wearing masks and working from home.
“I speak to health officials every day, and I have literally not spoken to any manager who does not say that their department is under intense pressure right now. We are in mid-October. Things are only going to get worse, ”Taylor said. BBC radio.
“The health service is just at the limit… if you push that much further, we won’t be able to provide the level of service that people need. “
IMMUNITY MAY BE LOW
Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said another lockdown would be wrong and also downplayed the possibility of more limited measures being put in place soon. Read more
“Ministers, scientists, experts review the data every hour,” he told the BBC. “And we don’t think it’s time for Plan B right now. “
A parliamentary report on Britain’s response to the early stages of the pandemic said last week that the postponement of a lockdown and other failures had caused thousands of preventable deaths.
Britain on Tuesday reported 223 new deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily figure since March, and the cases are the highest in Europe. Read more
Britain’s rapid start with vaccines also means immunity could wane in those vaccinated first.
Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said the risk lies mainly in the unvaccinated.
“(The boosters) can have at least some initial downward pressure on the transmission that we’re seeing right now,” he told BBC radio.
“But… the biggest problem for intensive care is not the highly vaccinated individuals, it is the unvaccinated people. “
He added that a Delta sub-variant developing in England is unlikely to be a game-changer. Read more
Reporting by Alistair Smout, additional reporting by Andy Bruce; edited by Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan
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