LONDON, 2 January 2022 (AFP) – British Health Minister Sajid Javid insisted on Saturday (1) that he re-imposes restrictions coronavirus In England it would be an “absolute last resort” and it should “try to live with Covid”.
“Limiting our freedoms should be an absolute last resort and the British expect us to do everything we can to avoid it,” Javid wrote in an article in the Daily Mail.
Britain is one of the countries in Europe hardest-hit by the pandemic, which has killed nearly 149,000 people. This Saturday, it recorded 163,000 new cases, a slight decline after several days of unprecedented numbers of infections.
The British government, responsible for health policy only in England, has so far refused to restrict social gatherings and large events, unlike the rest of Britain.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have adopted new rules since Christmas, such as meeting limits, at a time when the Omicron version is triggering infections in the country.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government says the data does not justify such measures in England.
“I am determined that we must give ourselves the best possible chance of living with the virus,” Javid said.
Despite record rates of infection, there has been a less significant increase in hospitalizations, raising hopes that Omicron is less severe than other types.
“I am working closely with the NHS (National Health System) to make sure it is ready and resilient for what is to come,” Javid said.
The government made the wearing of masks mandatory in much of England in December and urged people to work from home whenever possible, but did not adopt measures taken by other countries in the UK.
Instead, it is betting on expediting vaccination, and about 60% of the eligible population has already taken a booster dose.