British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused again, on Tuesday, to tighten health measures, despite the registration of more than 200,000 cases of coronavirus during the day in the United Kingdom and increasing pressure on the hospital.
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According to figures released by the government, 218,724 positive tests were identified within 24 hours. The country, one of Europe’s poorest with at least 148,941 deaths, recorded an additional 48 deaths on Tuesday.
Although this unprecedented number of cases since the start of the pandemic includes some that were not counted over the weekend, Boris Johnson called on Britons to “exercise the utmost caution” in their behaviour.
The leader added in a press conference, “Anyone who thinks that our battle against Covid is over, I am afraid is very wrong,” stressing that “our position today is different from previous waves” thanks to vaccination.
“We have a chance of surviving this Omicron wave without shutting down our country again,” he said. We can find a way to live with this virus.”
He again refused to impose new restrictions in England, as well as to work remotely and wear masks that already exist, relying on screening and the vaccination campaign.
France Press agency
Hospital cases currently remain much less intense than during waves of last winter, with about 14,000 people hospitalized, including nearly 2,000 new admissions on Tuesday.
The number of ventilator patients (883 in total) and deaths are increasing slightly so far.
This is due, according to Boris Johnson, to the fact that the Omicron variant, which is now in the majority in the UK, is “more mild than previous variants” that hit the country. But also for the massive vaccination campaign launched by the government.
“90% of people in intensive care with Covid did not receive a booster dose, and more than 60% were not vaccinated at all,” Johnson said, pointing to the advantages of an intensive vaccine campaign that, he said, allowed an additional dose to be given to 76% of adults.
France Press agency
However, the significant increase in cases associated with the highly contagious Omicron variant leads to absenteeism causing dysfunction in many sectors, particularly in the health sector.
At least six hospitals declared “serious incidents” on Tuesday, meaning the situation could affect priority healthcare.
Boris Johnson warned on Monday that the pressure on public health services and hospitals would be “significant over the next two weeks and possibly more”.
“We cannot escape the fact that some services will be disrupted due to the absence of staff,” he said on Tuesday. But we worked to prepare for it as much as possible.”
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