The National Health Service faces a very significant risk of running out of beds in intensive care units, Boris Johnson has warned MPs.
The British Prime Minister was speaking after the UK recorded 1,564 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, bringing the total death toll to nearly 85,000.
If you ask me when do we think the capacity of the ICU is likely to be exceeded, I can’t give you a prediction on that. But all I can say is the risk is very significant and we need to keep the pressure on the NHS and the only way to do that is to follow the current lockdown, he told the committee of the House of Commons.
Mr Johnson said earlier there were signs the latest lockdown was working as the number of new coronavirus cases declined and in some of the worst-affected areas in England hospitalizations were declining. But chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance has warned that although infections are declining, the death rate will remain high for several weeks.
The daily numbers jump a bit but I think we’re in a position now, when you look at how many infections we’ve had over the past few weeks and how it’s likely to continue, so I don’t think they will drop very quickly. , which I am afraid to be in a period of high death toll that will continue for a few weeks, it is not going to go down quickly even if the measures that are in place now start to reduce the number of infections. So I was in a pretty dark time, I’m afraid, he told ITV’s Peston show.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday she was tightening the rules to ban alcohol consumption outside and to limit click and collect services to essentials.
Mr Johnson has also refused to rule out other restrictions as Labor leader Keir Starmer called for the lockdown in England to be tightened.
Can the Prime Minister tell us, while infection rates are much higher than last March, that hospital admissions are much higher than in March, when death rates are much higher than last March, why the hell are the restrictions lower than last March? Sir Keir asked.
Downing Street is said to consider closing nurseries and some workplaces and preventing people from exercising with another person, as they are now allowed to do. Mr Johnson told the Liaison Committee he could not guarantee schools would reopen after the mid-February to mid-February break.
The priority is obviously to open schools as soon as possible, the possibility of doing so after the semester depends on a number of things. The success of the vaccination process depends on whether we find out that the South African or Brazilian variants are resistant to the vaccines, he said.
We have no evidence that this is the case, but it must be okay. But the bottom line is that the lockdown measures must go well. What we are seeing today are early signs of progress in containing the virus, but it is good, far too early to tell if we can see relaxation in February.
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