BoJo Reportedly 'Clears His Diary' for Urgent Monday COVID Meetings Amid Surge of Cases

© AFP 2022 / TOLGA AKMENBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 booster vaccine program in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 15, 2021
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 booster vaccine program in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
Subscribe
International
India
Africa
Last week, the UK government's leading scientists warned that if Downing Street fails to impose tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the daily number of infections could reach two million by the end of December.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a series of emergency meetings with scientists and his top cabinet members later on Monday to discuss the possibility of imposing tougher COVID-19 restrictions on England amid soaring coronavirus cases in the country, including those related to the new Omicron variant, The Mirror has reported.

The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying that even though Johnson "cleared his diary" for today for the abovementioned meetings, he doesn't plan a press conference to announce any changes to the existing restrictions.

© REUTERS / TOM NICHOLSONBritain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 29, 2021
Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 29, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 29, 2021
The claims come as UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the government could not rule out any new restrictive measures before Christmas after the cabinet's scientific advisers argued COVID hospitalisations could rise to between 3,000 and 10,000 a day unless "more stringent measures" are taken.

"There are no guarantees in this [coronavirus] pandemic. At this point we just have to keep everything under review", Javid told reporters last week. He earlier said that the government is "assessing the situation", which is "very fast-moving".

"We've seen with Omicron there's a lot that we still don't know about Omicron. That's the truth of the matter. The reality is there's a lot of uncertainty", the health secretary stressed, pledging that the government would do "what is necessary" to keep the public safe.

Tory Rebels Slam PM's Plan B to Fight COVID

Javid's comments follow Johnson facing the largest Tory revolt of his time in office on 14 December, when a total of 99 Conservatives voted against the PM's so-called "Plan B" on tougher COVID-19 rules for England this winter.
In this Thursday, May 25, 2017 file photo British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrive for a meeting during the NATO summit of heads of state and government, at the NATO headquarters, in Brussels. British ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has slammed Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit policy, a move likely to fuel speculation that he is seeking to oust her. Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Monday Sept. 3, 2018 that May's so-called Chequers plan for continued ties with the European Union after Brexit will leave Britain in a weakened position - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
From Tony Blair to Boris Johnson: 25 Years of Revolts Against UK Government
The plan, which includes the introduction of health certificates for nightclubs and large events in the country, was passed by a majority of 243 thanks to support from the Labour Party, but left angry Tory backbenchers issuing a host of warnings.
One of the Tory rebels, senior MP Tobias Ellwood, was quoted as saying that the government should improve its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's on the bus, off the bus. The economy stops then starts again. We can't continue doing that", Ellwood said.

A member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Stephen Reicher, for his part, insisted that it was clear that Plan B measures alone would not stop the increasing number of cases. He warned that waiting until after Christmas to impose stricter rules is "probably too late".
Last week, UK media outlets reported that Downing Street was considering proposals for a post-Christmas two-week "circuit breaker" lockdown to tackle the spread of the Omicron strain.
Reicher's fellow SAGE member David Spiegelhalter, in turn, asserted that "we [the government] can't wait for hospitalisations to go through the roof before we do something about it, because by then it's too late".
In a separate development last week, Brexit Minister Lord David Frost resigned from the UK government over what he described as "concerns about the current direction of travel".
© FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTSBritain's negotiator David Frost arrives for post-Brexit trade disputes negotiations in Brussels, on October 15, 2021.
Britain's negotiator David Frost arrives for post-Brexit trade disputes negotiations in Brussels, on October 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
Britain's negotiator David Frost arrives for post-Brexit trade disputes negotiations in Brussels, on October 15, 2021.
In a letter to Johnson, Frost noted that he is alarmed over Downing Street's handling of the COVID pandemic, insisting that the UK needs to "learn to live with COVID".

"I know that is your instinct too. You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again. Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere", the minister wrote.

The letter came as Britain reported 12,133 more cases of the Omicron variant on Sunday, in a 21 percent increase from the day before. The total number of Omicron cases currently stand at 37,101, with 10,059 cases of the variant recorded on Saturday, according to government statistics.
Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала