Home Business News Boris Johnson to hold a press conference as cases surge and NHS urge for restrictions ‘without delay’ as thousands are off sick

Boris Johnson to hold a press conference as cases surge and NHS urge for restrictions ‘without delay’ as thousands are off sick

4th Jan 22 2:25 pm

The Prime Minister is to hold a press conference at Downing Street this afternoon after he has received an update on the latest Omicron data.

Boris Johnson will be joined by England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

This past week more than 1m people tested positive for Covid and were told to self-isolate and hospitalisations have risen.

There are currently more than 14,000 people in hospital with the virus, but this is still far lower than 39,254 which was seen in January 2021 during the peak.

There has been calls for the government to bring restrictions “without delay” as “tens of thousands” of NHS staff are off sick and the NHS is “in a state of crisis.”

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) penned a letter to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning the NHS cannot “afford” the level of staff absences and they have called for a more “cautious approach” to introduce restrictions.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said on Tuesday morning, the staffing situation in hospitals is “almost impossible.”

He told Times Radio that, for many, “the most pressing element of all” is the vast number of staff who are off sick or self-isolating due to Covid.

On Monday, Johnson pledged to “make sure that we look after our NHS any way that we can” as they tackle Covid.

The Prime Minister said, “There’s no question Omicron continues to surge through the country.

“I think we’ve got to recognise that the pressure on our NHS, on our hospitals, is going to be considerable in the course of the next couple of weeks, and maybe more.”

Despite this pledge it is highly unlikely Johnson will introduce any new restrictions, as he said, “The way forward for the country as a whole is to continue with the path that we are on.

“Of course we will keep all measures under review, but the mixture of things that we are doing at the moment is I think the right one.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “At the moment we don’t see any data to suggest that further restrictions would be the right approach, given we know it is important to strike the right balance between protecting lives and livelihoods.

“There are significant mitigations in place for our NHS to help them in what’s going to be a very challenging winter.”

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