Hospitals are ‘beyond coping’ warns Professor Susan Michie
Professor Susan Michie has said Britain is in a “national crisis” as COVID-19 cases rapidly increase. Boris Johnson warned of “tough, tough” weeks to come as the Government came under pressure to announce another national lockdown amid concerns the new variant coronavirus is spreading out of control. The Prime Minister said there was “no question” about the need for tougher measures which would be announced, “in due course”.
Speaking to LBC, Professor Michie said: “We are in a national crisis. We’ve had relentless transmission going up of this virus.
“We have hospitals that are beyond coping now when you hear from the inside what’s happening and we don’t have a plan.
“It’s absolutely urgent that this virus is brought under control, taking all the means that we have and learning what has worked for other countries.
“Sadly we do need to have another national lockdown so that the virus can be brought down.
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“But that has to be accompanied by a really fast rollout of the vaccination programme and also, getting a functioning test, trace and isolate system.
“Currently my own research shows that 30 percent of people who have symptoms are not isolating the required amount of time.
“If this is the case then no wonder we have transmission going up but the reasons people are leaving the house are because of income – needing to get income, caring responsibilities and needing to go out for provision.
“In other countries, people are paid to stay at home.”
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Her comments came as the national rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine began, with 82-year-old former maintenance manager Brian Pinker becoming the first person to receive the jab outside of clinical trials.
Prime Minister Johnson acknowledged the concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases.
The latest data show a 33 percent rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus patients in hospital in England between Christmas Day and January 2, figures which have caused alarm in Whitehall and the health service.
“If you look at the numbers there’s no question we will have to take tougher measures and we will be announcing those in due course,” Mr Johnson said during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London.
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The Government hopes to get the virus under control while vaccinating as many people as possible in the hope that things will appear brighter in spring.
Ministers have said the NHS has the capacity to deliver two million doses a week of the Oxford vaccine once it receives supplies from the manufacturers.
Mr Johnson said: “We have the capacity, the issue is to do with supply of the vaccine.
“It’s not so much a manufacturing issue although that’s part of it.”
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