Boris Johnson says ‘tougher measures’ will be announced in response to rise in Covid cases - what we know so far

Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:13 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced tougher measures will be brought into place to tackle the rising spread of Covid infection cases.

The Prime Minister said that there was “no question” about tougher measures being needed, and that these would be announced “in due course”, warning of “tough, tough” weeks to come.

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Tougher measure to be brought into place

Covid-19 infection rates are rising in numerous parts of the UK, with the latest figures available showing that in England, there has been a 33 per cent rise in the number of patients with coronavirus in hospital between Christmas Day and 2 January.

During a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London, Mr Johnson said: “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.”

He underlined that the government "will do everything we can to keep the virus under control", but added, "I must stress at this critical moment it is so vital that people keep disciplined."

This comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday (3 Jan) that the government must put a national lockdown into place within 24 hours, arguing that Covid-19 is "clearly out of control".

Vaccinations being rolled out

The first doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered in the UK. Ministers have said that 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 that the nation has the capacity to vaccinate, but that “the issue is to do with supply of the vaccine.”

“It’s not so much a manufacturing issue although that’s part of it,” he added.

“Each batch needs to be properly approved and quality controlled.”

This further reiterates what Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently told BBC Breakfast, saying: “If the NHS needs to go faster, then it will go faster. If there were two million doses a week being delivered, then the NHS would deliver at that speed.

“That’s the critical question, but that supply isn’t there yet, and we are working very closely with the manufacturers.”