Sky News: Sajid Javid hasn't 'thought about' an October lockdown
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The speed of the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout may be impressive, but the rise in Covid-related hospitalisations continues to spark alarm. This has prompted fears there could be another lockdown in October to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
An impressive 43.7 million Brits or 65.6 percent of the population has been double vaccinated to date.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said this is “a phenomenal achievement”.
But concerns are growing there could be an October lockdown.
The Department for Education has denied reports circulating that it plans to extend the half-term holiday in October to act as a “firebreak.”
In a tweet, the Department for Education said: “It is not true that the government is planning a lockdown or firebreak around the October half term.”
But the Government have said in the past they won’t rule out re-introducing restrictions if necessary.
The PM’s spokesperson insisted: “These kinds of measures would only be reintroduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on our NHS”.
“I think we’ve been clear throughout that we will take action, and indeed we have done when necessary to protect our NHS.”
What is the likelihood of an October lockdown?
A member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) told the i newspaper: “It would be sensible to have contingency plans, and if a lockdown is required, to time it so that it has minimal economic and societal impact.”
“Hospitals might be overflowing before deaths reach the same level. Acting early will prevent this level.”
However, Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said he has not heard of this plan.
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He told BBC Breakfast that the vaccination programme and the rollout of booster jabs this autumn should prevent the need to take severe measures as seen last year.
He said: “It is through the booster programme that I hope…we can transition the virus from pandemic to endemic status and deal with it year in, year out.”
The number of Brits hospitalised due to the virus has been slowly rising in recent weeks.
But this number is still far below the peak witnessed in January this year.
Which parts of England have the highest vaccination rates?
As of September 10, the South West has the highest vaccination rate in the UK.
The South West has an impressive 73.9 percent of its population now fully vaccinated against the virus.
The East isn’t far behind with a vaccination rate of 73.65 percent.
While the North West trails behind the rest of the UK with just 63.3 percent of its population fully vaccinated against Covid.
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