Boris Johnson, today warning that Omincron remains a danger to the country. The ministers dismissed Omincron’s claims of being ‘travel apartheid’ over the UK’s banning African nationals from entering the UK.
According to The Prime Minister, the government responded appropriately to the discovery of the variant. He said that states were not allowed to use it.
And he rejected the idea that the move to impose pre-departure tests on those coming to Britain was ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’.
The comments came after Nigeria’s high commissioner to London backed the UN Secretary General’s view that measures imposed by nations against large parts of Africa amounted to ‘travel apartheid’.
Kit Malthouse stated that it was an unfortunate phrase and the government is trying to buy time to determine the variant.
US health officials have stated that they are reviewing the ban, citing initial signs suggesting the strain could be less severe. However, Malthouse said ministers would be “informed” by information received around the globe.
This morning Mr Johnson visited Merseyside and was asked by the British government if they had done too much to demand that all UK-bound travelers take predeparture screenings.
He stated, “No. I think we are responding to the pandemic.”
“We were the first to act decisively to combat Omicron. We added about 10 countries to the red-list immediately and said that anyone coming from any other country would need to be quarantined for two days.
“We are now taking further measures and tightening these controls as we witness Omicron spreading around the globe.
Boris Johnson visited Merseyside today and defended government response to the variant’s emergence, saying that restrictions placed on countries where the variant was detected were ‘decisive.
Johnson refuted the notion that pre-departure testing was necessary for those arriving in Britain. (Photo: Heathrow airport).
I don’t believe that we should alter the general guidance and advice about Omicron within this country. We are still waiting for confirmation on how serious it is as well as the impact it has on hospitalisations and deaths.
Sarafa Tunji Isola (Nigeria’s high-commissar) stated that the reaction to this statement was “travel apartheid.” Nigeria aligns itself with UN secretary-general’s view that the travel ban in Nigeria is apartheid. In the sense that Nigeria is not facing an epidemic situation, it’s a pandemic and all approaches are expected to be global.
He added: ‘(Omicron) is classified as a mild variant – no hospitalisation, no death. This is a very different issue from that of the Delta variant. The position must be based on empirical and scientific evidence. The situation isn’t panicky.
But Mr Malthouse said: ‘It’s very unfortunate language to use.
“We are aware of the problems that these travel restrictions create, but we are trying to buy some time so that scientists from Porton Down can study the virus and determine how hard it will be to deal with us as a nation.”
Meanwhile, laws requiring masks in shops and on public transport look set to stay until the New Year, as ministers try to fend off demands for tougher restrictions in the run up to Christmas.
To slow down the spread of Omicron variant, emergency regulations were reintroduced last week. Mandatory masks will be required until December 21.
The December 18th deadline may be too late to make a final decision about whether or not they should be extended.
Whitehall sources indicated that it is likely that the use of masks would be continued for at least three additional weeks in order to provide scientists with more time to study Omicron’s threat.
Others restrictions like travel checks and compulsory 10-day quarantine are set to be increased for Omicron-infected persons.
Sources say Boris Johnson will not comply with Government Plan B pressures until the new year.
The plan includes the ordering of millions and vaccination passports.
Dominic Raab (Deputy Prime Minister) urged yesterday’s crowd to keep moving forward with festive plans, calling it a ‘great Christmas’.
Whitehall sources stated that we have not yet reached Plan B. People can expect a more traditional Christmas this year than they did last year.
“That all depends on what data is available about the new variant. However, it is possible that the situation will remain the same for the next few weeks.
Raab advised people to get booster jabs. This was an important step in avoiding further restrictions.
However, he stated that the ministers were not interested in following Germany’s lead and making mandatory vaccinations.
He did not rule out medical treatment being restricted for unvaccinated people, even though the medical community warned that they are outnumbering other essential care.
The Sunday Times was told by Nicki Credland (chairman of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses) that all nurses know they must provide non-judgmental healthcare.
“But we have found it difficult to give care to those who chose not to receive vaccines. This has an adverse effect on the health of other patients.
“We are human beings, and we get mad at people who aren’t our fault.”
After figures showed that more than 90% of Covid patients who need the best specialist care were not vaccinated, her comments come after these statistics. Doctors warn that not all transplant surgery will proceed and vital cancer surgeries are being held back.
Times Radio’s Mr Raab stated that he would not accept any suggestion suggesting we might deny people access to essential services if they haven’t had a jab.
It comes as a leading scientist warned Britain has left it ‘too late’ to halt the spread of the Omicron super-variant.
Professor Mark Woolhouse stated that introducing new travel restrictions was like closing the stable door when the horse bolts.
The Edinburgh University epidemiologist said it was ‘spreading pretty rapidly’ and could become the world’s dominant strain.
Professor Woolhouse, who is a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling which advises the Government, said the measures would not make a ‘material difference’ as the variant is already ‘spreading pretty rapidly’.
On Sunday, he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr that he thought it was possible to close the stable doors after the horse bolts.
“If Omicron exists in the UK (and it is), then if there is community transmission in UK (and it sure looks like it), that is what will drive the next wave.
“The import cases are very important. We want to find them and identify any positive cases.
“But, I believe it’s too late for us to make a significant difference in the Omicron waves’ course.
President of Royal College of Emergency Medicine also warns that the NHS could be put in an’very difficult situation’ by the Omicron variant.
Dr Katherine Henderson claimed that winter is already a difficult time for hospitals.
She stated that although it is already very bad, the situation will only get worse. “If this new variant turns out to be a reality in terms of admissions and numbers, we’re going to find ourselves in an extremely difficult spot,” she added.
We will be there forever. While we still encourage patients to visit, it is important to let them know that the current service is very stretched and could require additional support.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said there have been nThere have been no deaths from the super mutant strain despite it being found in 38 countries.
But it is not. warned it could take weeks to determine how infectious the variant is, whether it causes more severe illness and how effective treatments and vaccines are against it.
“We are going to find the answers that everyone needs,” WHO emergency director Michael Ryan stated on Friday.
Many of the Omicron cases surfacing in the states – and across the globe – look to be connected to people who had traveled to South Africa recently, including the first person in the US to have an identified case of the variant, a resident of San Francisco.
According to official data, the number of Covid positive tests for a mutation that is associated with this highly evolved strain is increasing. Omicron, like Alpha or the ‘Kent variation’, has a particular alteration that can be detected by PCR without the need to perform genomic sequencing. This so-called S gene dropout is responsible for increasing the proportion of Omicron positives in England from 0.1% to 0.3 percent in the last week, which equals one in 330. Scientists believe that there may be many Omicron cases flying unnoticed at the moment, as evidenced by the rise in S-gene dropsouts.