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UK Boris Johnson Predicts Harsh Winter As COVID-19 Deaths Rise | International

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LONDON British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has predicted a tough winter due to the coronavirus and other pressures on the National Health Service, as his government acknowledged worsening data in its response to the pandemic.

There were signs that hospitalizations and death rates were increasing, Johnsons official spokesperson Max Blain told reporters on Tuesday. Obviously, we are watching the increase in the number of cases very closely.

Weekly coronavirus deaths have exceeded 800 for each of the past six weeks in Britain, higher than in other major Western European countries, according to Bloomberg’s coronavirus tracker. To date, the UK has recorded nearly 140,000 COVID-related deaths.

However, despite the warning of hard times ahead, Johnson said current measures were keeping the virus under control, according to a reading from his Cabinet meeting with ministers released by 10 Downing Street. Johnson has previously said he would consider bringing back measures such as mandatory masks and advice for working from home if the pressure on the NHS becomes unsustainable.

The UK has seen a recent surge in COVID cases, signaling its highest daily jump since mid-July on Sunday. It faces calls for urgent research into a mutation of the delta variant, known as delta plus and found in Britain. Hospitalizations are currently at around 20% of levels seen in the previous peak in the UK and deaths at around 10%, which Blain attributed to the effects of the vaccine rollout.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Tuesday that the government would soon draw up a detailed program on how it will deal with winter pressures on the NHS.

Usually winters are harsh for the NHS, but I think this winter will be particularly harsh, Javid said in the House of Commons.

Bloomberg LP 2021 Tour bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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