Nail biting journey for NHS. 50 K Covid patients
Care beds enhanced.
Short staff patients shifted Cambridge.BBC
New Year safely at home: British PM Fri, 01 January 2021
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to mark New Year’s Eve on Thursday from the safety of their homes as Britain’s COVID-19 lockdown was expanded to place millions more under tougher restrictions amid a continuing spike in infection rates across the country. While he welcomed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine’s regulatory approval joining Pfizer/BioNTech jabs against the deadly virus from next week, Johnson said the new strain of the virus is spreading much faster and “surging” across the country resulting in a 40 per cent increase in cases in England in the last week alone. “I must ask you to follow the rules where you live and see in the New Year safely at home. That means not meeting up with friends or family indoors, unless they are in the same household or support bubble, and avoiding large gatherings of any kind,” said Johnson. “We are still in the tunnel of this pandemic, the light however is not merely visible; thanks to an extraordinary feat of British engineering, if you like, the tunnel has been shortened and we are moving faster through it, and that gives me great confidence about the future in the spring, he said. “So for now let’s double our efforts, let’s follow the rules, protect our NHS and together make 2021 the year we leave this tunnel behind us, he added. “See in the New Year safely at home” messages are running across radio, print media and other advertising to remind people that one in three who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and as such the public should act like they have the virus to avoid spreading it without realising. “I know how much we have all sacrificed this year and we cannot let up. Over 600,000 people have now been vaccinated and we are close to beating this virus,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. “Now more than ever, we need to pull together to save lives and protect our NHS [National Health Service]. If we continue to do our bit by staying at home, we can get through this together, he said. The minister laid out details of 23 further regions that have been brought under the tougher Tier 4 lockdown measures after a record 53,135 daily cases were registered on Wednesday, the majority of which are believed to be the new variant. It means a further 20 million people are under tighter restrictions, which involve a shutdown of hospitality venues, non-essential retail and indoor gatherings. Some of the areas in lower tiers have also been bumped up to Tier 3, which also involves strict restrictions on mixing between different households. UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the return of many schools will be delayed beyond the expected reopening from next week. Exam year students will return on January 11, with other secondary school students to follow a week later on January 18, to enable preparations for the testing of pupils and staff to take place. The minister, however, stressed that more than 85 per cent of primary schools will reopen as planned next Monday and that he wanted any closures to be “short”. Meanwhile, NHS England released latest figures to show that 786,000 people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine between December 8 and 27. General Practitioners are to be offered 10 pounds for every care home resident vaccinated and frontline NHS staff will also be prioritised now that the Oxford jab has been approved for rollout from Monday.