Scientists warn there could STILL be hundreds of Covid deaths a day even after delay of Freedom Day: Millions more people in the Midlands and North West of England are being urged not to travel or meet people indoors in an attempt to curb the spread of the Indian Covid variant.
Ministers urge another 3.6MILLION people in Indian variant hotspots not to travel, only meet friends outdoors and get tested as Gove promises July 19 WILL go ahead barring an ‘unprecedented’ Covid development… despite Tory fears restrictions won’t end.
Millions more people in the Midlands and North West of England are being urged not to travel or meet people indoors in an attempt to curb the spread of the Indian Covid variant.
In guidance released last night, roughly 3.6million residents in Birmingham, Liverpool, Warrington and parts of Cheshire were asked to minimise their movements in and out of the affected areas, which are recording higher than average levels of the mutant strain.
But Boris Johnson made no mention of the fresh advice in his dramatic Downing Street press conference last night, where he confirmed England’s final unlocking would be pushed back by four weeks amid fears the mutant strain could overwhelm hospitals.
Remaining lockdown restrictions are now due to be lifted on July 19, which the Prime Minister last night promised would be the ‘terminus date’.
Scientists warn there could STILL be hundreds of Covid deaths a day even after delay of Freedom Day
The Government today doubled down on its new Freedom Day pledge, with senior minister Michael Gove saying he was ‘as confident as confident can be about that date’, despite fears from backbench Tory MPs that the goalposts will be moved once again.
The six authorities hit with the guidance are also being offered a ‘package of support’ from the Government which includes surge testing, enhanced contact tracing and financial support to Covid cases and their contacts who have been asked to self-isolate.
The Army will be sent in to help carry out the extra testing to flush out cases of the virus, while NHS boards in the area will be given extra help to ensure vaccine uptake is as high as possible. Residents are also being asked to get tested twice a week.
They join the 4m people in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, who were placed under the new rules last week. The enhanced measures cover around 9.3m residents across England, the equivalent of 16 per cent of the entire population.
The spread of the Indian variant — believed to be 60 per cent more infectious than the Kent strain and twice as likely to put unvaccinated people in hospital — has led to No10 pumping the brakes on England’s June 21 Freedom Day.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson said the month-long delay would save ‘thousands’ of lives, but this morning prominent SAGE member Professor Graham Medley warned that even with the extra month, Britain could still suffer hundreds of Covid deaths every day.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Office minister Mr Gove insisted that the country will need to ‘learn to live with the virus’ and committed to the July 19 date.
Asked if he could promise that the final unlocking will go ahead next month, he replied ‘yes’ and added that only a ‘bizarre and unprecedented’ development in the Covid crisis could derail the plans.
Scientists warn there could STILL be hundreds of Covid deaths a day even after delay of Freedom Day: He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘None of us can predict the future with 100 per cent certainty… But, on the basis of all the information that we have, then we will have successfully protected such a large section of population, and of course children will be facing summer holidays and that brings the infection rate down. So we’re as confident as confident can be about that date.’
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But Tory MPs are sceptical that the July 19 date will go ahead. Former minister Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Tory MPs, tweeted: ‘We’ve heard ministers say they’re pretty confident about lifting restrictions before and then do the opposite.’
Extra support to tackle a rise in cases of the Delta variant, which was first recorded in India, has been announced for more areas of the North West and Birmingham. The additional support will be introduced in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City Region and Warrington, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said on Monday. The package, which is the same as was announced for Greater Manchester and Lancashire last week, will see more support for surge testing, tracing, isolation support and maximising vaccine uptake after a number of cases of the Delta variant were detected in the areas
Gove immediately backtracks after promising end of rules on July 19. Read More on: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9687355/Scientists-warn-hundreds-Covid-deaths-day-delay-Freedom-Day.html
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