Friday, March 31, 2023

Boris Johnson will be briefed on data before Covid rules

Boris Johnson will get the latest Covid data on Monday as he considers limiting England’s ability to fight the Omicron coronavirus variety.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already imposed such limitations, but policymakers in England hope warnings would encourage people to self-police and reduce social contact.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance will brief the PM.

If the figures are good, Mr Johnson may be persuaded to preserve the more lenient Plan B measures with some added advise.

A PM may feel obligated to intervene if cases began to put undue burden on the NHS. The Times reports that new legislation will exempt weddings and funerals.

A year ago, only 2,148 people waited 12 hours or longer to be admitted to hospital in November. While a record number of NHS trusts reported patient wait times of above 24 hours.

In October 2021, NHS England data shows the longest waits. Almost a third of all trusts had a 23–24 hour delay. The longest wait was 1439 minutes, or little under 24 hours.

In A&E for 24 hours, according to Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.

“Health leaders are responding to increased hospital admissions and staff absence,” said NHS Confederation CEO Matthew Taylor. Now is the time for the administration to regain control.

In the case of Omicron staff shortages after Christmas, schools plan to send whole year groups home for remote learning.

Ministers won’t discuss school closures in January. Schools will remain open till further notice, as agreed by the PM and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

“School closures are not a priority for education.” According to Geoff Barton, the Association of School and College Leaders’ general secretary, teachers “hope for the best but plan for the worst”.

“With a limited pool of teachers, schools and organisations must prioritise specific year groups,” he stated.

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