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UK COVID deaths highest since March – Doctors call for urgent return of restrictions

Published on 20/10/21 at 09:44am

Medical professionals in the NHS have urgently pleaded the UK government to reimpose COVID restrictions as UK COVID deaths reach their highest figure since March. On Tuesday 19 October, 223 deaths were recorded. Infections have remained above 40,000 for seven days in a row, with 43,738 new cases reported on Tuesday.

Calls to enact the government’s ‘Plan B’ have risen in order to decrease pressure placed on the NHS. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has urgently warned the government that immediate action is required to prevent the NHS falling into a “profound crisis over the next three months.” Taylor stated “The government ought not to just announce that we’re moving to plan B, but it should be plan B plus.”

On Tuesday, a Downing Street spokesperson stated there were “no plans” to enforce the Plan B measures set out in the government’s winter strategy. The spokesperson additionally stated that, thanks to vaccine rollout, the current plan “continues to keep the virus under control.”

Professor John Edmunds, a leading government scientist, has stated that the government must speed up teenage vaccinations and third doses to prevent a fourth wave of hospitalisations and deaths. Following the 223 recorded deaths on Tuesday, the total of UK deaths stands at 138,852.

Complicating matters further, a new mutation of the Delta variant is currently being observed by UK experts. AY.4.2, new descendent of the Delta variant, has been identified and is increasing in frequency in UK COVID cases.

MPs yesterday voted again for a six-month extension of emergency COVID powers. These powers include those to limit or suspend public gatherings, allowing the emergency registration of healthcare professionals the power to temporarily close schools and prevent tenants from being evicted, and to intervene in regulations across sectors to limit transmission.

Ana Ovey


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