By Chris King • 20 December 2021 • 19:06
POSTAL DELIVERIES: Staff shortages in Campohermoso (Nijar) mean posties having to work in searing heat
Photo credit: CC/Tiia Monto
After a three-hour virtual emergency cabinet meeting which started at 2pm, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced this afternoon, Monday, December 20, that his government will not be implementing a lockdown before Christmas.
Playing his cards close to his chest, he added that they will be monitoring the Omicron data situation on an hourly basis, and action would be taken without further hesitation if he thought it was necessary.
“Unfortunately, I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS. We won’t hesitate to take action”, said the Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson had been caught in the crossfire of angry MPs earlier, as several of them were reported to have demanded to know if Christmas was going to be ruined or not.
This comes after a report from the Department of Health that today’s Covid infection figures have risen by 68 per cent in the past seven days. In the last 24 hours, a total of 91,743 cases were reportedly recorded. Three out of the last four days have seen infections above the 90,000 mark.
Last Friday 17 saw the UK’s highest ever single-day infection total recorded, while Saturday saw another 93,045 cases.
Hospitals have not reported any significant increase, with 919 people admitted, compared to 926 one week ago. A total of 44 deaths were registered, a rise of 15 per cent in one week.
It has been confirmed that Omicron patients total 104 at the moment, with 12 deaths reported. This figure could be higher according to Professor Chris Whitty, who pointed out that it takes longer to confirm infections with the new strain of the virus.
Scientists seem to be at loggerheads over numbers. A modelling by SAGE scientists from Warwick University warned that the UK could see as many as 10,000 daily hospitalisations, and around 6,000 deaths.
In response, wishing to remain anonymous, an ex-government scientist reportedly called the SAGE numbers ‘fictitious’, and told MailOnline, “Models have to simplify the world to predict the future, but clearly that’s an absurd future. They said the doomsday scenarios were comparable to ‘science fiction, but we don’t tend to question it because we worship numbers”.
Another scientist, a chemical biologist at Imperial College London, Professor Keith Willison, slammed the models as ‘widely pessimistic’ and ‘fraudulent’, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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