Johnson maintains Plan B measures despite rising cases and hospitalizations

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Orris Johnson has insisted he was right to stick with England’s Plan B coronavirus measures despite rapidly rising hospital admissions, rising case rates and staff shortages hitting the NHS.

The prime minister told lawmakers that the cabinet has agreed to keep the existing home restrictions, but have relaxed travel testing rules.

He also confirmed plans being implemented across the UK to eliminate the need for confirmatory PCR tests for asymptomatic people who test positive using a lateral flow device (LFD).

An estimated 3.7 million people in the UK had Covid-19 in the week ending 31 December, up from 2.3 million in the week to 23 December and the highest number since comparative figures began in autumn 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). he said. ,

According to ONS estimates, around one in 15 people in private homes in England had COVID-19 – with levels rising to one in 10 in London.

There were 194,747 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK as of 9am on Wednesday, while 334 more deaths were recorded – although this figure includes a backlog of hospital figures for England from 1 January.

Government data also showed that a total of 17,276 people in the UK were in hospital with Covid-19 as of 4 January, up 58% week-on-week – though down from a peak of around 40,000 in January 2021.

In the Commons, Mr Johnson said hospital admissions were “doubling every nine days” and “we are experiencing the sharpest increase in Covid cases ever known”.

He said cases were doubling every week among the over 60s.

But he said Plan B measures – including widespread use of face masks and guidance for working from home – were “helping to take the lead from the omicron wave”, slowing the spread, easing pressure on the NHS and buying time for the booster campaign. to take effect.

He said Plan B and testing changes were “balanced and proportionate ways of ensuring that we can live with COVID without letting our guard down”.

(PA Graphics) , PA Graphics

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