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Pressure mounts on Johnson to delay lockdown lifting

Boris Johnson is beneath mounting strain to delay lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England following one other sharp rise in instances of the Delta variant.

The British Medical Association (BMA) joined calls to put any additional rest on maintain with the variant first recognized in India estimated to account for 96% of latest instances.

The warning got here because the Prime Minister prepares to announce on Monday whether or not the ultimate stage of lockdown lifting can go forward as deliberate on June 21.

The newest figures from Public Health England (PHE), printed on Friday, confirmed there had been 42,323 instances of the Delta variant confirmed within the UK, up by 29,892 from the earlier week.

It estimates the pressure is 60% extra transmissible in contrast with the beforehand dominant Alpha, or Kent, variant, and that instances have been doubling each four-and-a-half days in some components of England.

BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul stated the figures confirmed extra time is required to get the vaccine to extra individuals.

“With only 54.2% of the adult population currently fully vaccinated and many younger people not yet eligible, there is a huge risk that prematurely relaxing all restrictions will undo the excellent work of the vaccine programme and lead to a surge of infections,” he stated.

“It’s not just about the number of hospitalisations, but also the risk to the health of large numbers of younger people, who can suffer long-term symptoms affecting their lives and ability to work.”

For Labour, shadow house secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds stated the Government was to blame for placing lockdown lifting in jeopardy.

“The pace at which cases of the Delta variant continue to rise is deeply worrying and is putting the lifting of restrictions at risk,” he stated.

“The blame for this lies with the Prime Minister and his reckless refusal to act on Labour’s repeated warnings to secure our borders against Covid and its variants.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus chairwoman Layla Moran stated the figures ought to “set alarm bells ringing” in Government.

The Lib Dem MP stated: “The Government must immediately explain to the public whether this exponential growth suggests the country is in line for a severe third wave, and if so what it is doing to prevent this.”

Meanwhile, Merton Council in south London has introduced that it’s stepping up focused surge testing in two areas – together with an industrial property in New Malden – the place there have been latest outbreaks.

The warnings got here as The Times reported ministers have been contemplating a four-week delay to what some are calling “freedom day”, so as to give companies certainty and permit extra time for individuals to obtain each vaccine doses.

The newest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures estimate that round one in 560 individuals in non-public households in England had Covid-19 within the week to June 5, up from one in 640 within the earlier week and the best degree since April 10.

PHE stated that development charges for Delta instances are excessive throughout all components of England, with regional estimates for doubling time starting from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.

As of June 7 there have been 42 deaths in England of people that have been confirmed as having the Delta variant of Covid-19 and who died inside 28 days of a optimistic take a look at, 23 of which have been unvaccinated.

The figures additionally confirmed that two-thirds of the 1,234 individuals who attended A&E in England between February 1 and June 7 and who have been confirmed as having the Delta variant of coronavirus have been unvaccinated.

Of the 383 instances the place attendance at A&E resulted in an in a single day admission, 251 (66%) have been unvaccinated.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi confused the significance of being “really careful” in lifting coronavirus restrictions and urged towards squandering the “hard-fought gains” made by the vaccination programme.

During a broadcast spherical on Friday morning, Mr Zahawi emphasised that the virus “hasn’t gone away” when requested about reviews of a delay.

“There have been some really hard-won battles against this virus and we don’t want to squander those hard-fought gains that we have made through the vaccination programme,” he informed Times Radio Breakfast.

“The virus hasn’t gone away, the virus will continue to attempt to mutate, to escape, to try and survive, and I think it’s really important that we are really careful.”

Mr Zahawi stated the Government was “on track” to meet a goal of all over-50s being provided their second jab by June 21, as he appealed to those that had not had a primary dose to come ahead to be vaccinated.

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Updated on June 13, 2021 11:57 am

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