ngland’s chief medical officer has warned the third lockdown is a “long way” from being lifted, despite a major step in the fight against coronavirus with the opening of seven mega vaccination centres.
The seven mass vaccination centres are set to open in England today, offering jabs to those aged above 80, and health and care staff. Matt Hancock is also due to set out the Government’s new plan for delivering the vaccines.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new variant of coronavirus makes the situation “so much harder”.
He said: “It makes it harder for everyone because it means that everyone has to restrict the things that they love more than would have been previously necessary under the old variant, and that is tough on us all but thankfully we have got this way out with the vaccine.
“So let’s not blow it now.”
Professor Stephen Powis said it was “critical” that people “pull together” to reduce coronavirus deaths, and ensure that the NHS can treat other conditions.
Emily Morgan, the health editor from ITV, asks Mr Hancock if now is the time to act and tighten up rules
Mr Hancock repeats that the most important thing is public must follow the rules, and praises the actions of Morrisons, which will now no longer allow people to enter its stores without a mask. “That is the right approach. We keep these things under review.”
He says most important thing is everyone “follows the rules as they are today”.
He does not rule out new restrictions. He asks people to behave as if they have the virus. “Don’t flex the rules it can be fatal – that can lead to more infections and more deaths. Its very important that everyone does.”
Prof Powis adds: “Patients who don’t have Covid become affected. When people comply they allow NHS staff to treat stroke victims, heart attacks and traffic accidents.”