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4th Dec, 2021

Health Secretary to speak as Covid cases top 40k for eighth straight day

Rob George 20th Oct, 2021 Updated: 20th Oct, 2021

HEALTH Secretary and Worcestershire MP Sajid Javid will lead a Downing Street press conference as the Government comes under pressure to re-impose coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Javid’s press conference is likely to focus on urging people to come forward for their vaccinations or the booster being offered to some people.

However he is likely to face questions as the UK recorded a further 49,139 cases yesterday, meaning there have been eight consecutive days of more than 40,000 cases.

Another 179 deaths within 28 days of a positive test have also been reported; though deaths remain well below last winter’s peak.

Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation which represents health bodies, warned ‘we risk stumbling into a winter crisis’ unless measures such as face masks and vaccine passports – the Government’s “Plan B” for the coming months – are introduced in England.

He called for ministers to come up with a “Plan C” of even tougher restrictions if those measures are insufficient to address pressure on the health service.

Ministers have rejected calls to introduce the contingency measures which were included in the Government’s autumn and winter strategy.

Downing Street said the number of hospital admissions and deaths are still ‘substantially lower’ than they were earlier in the year.

“The important thing is the fact that our vaccination programme has been successful in breaking the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths,” a No 10 spokesman said.

“Our focus remains on ensuring we get boosters out to those who are eligible.”

The spokesman added: “There isn’t any proposed plan for any further lockdowns. We are sticking to the autumn and winter plan we have set out.”

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