PANDEMIC MITIGATION: Britons should brace for rising Covid cases- UK Health Secretary

Health secretary says jump in cases to be expected after scrapping of rules, but UK is in ‘good position’. Britons should brace for a rise in Covid infections after the easing of restrictions, the health secretary has said, as the latest figures show rates are increasing as people socialise more.

Sajid Javid said the UK remained in a “very good position” but rising infection rates were to be “expected”. To reduce the risk of serious infection, he urged adults eligible for a booster vaccine to have one, given that one in five had not yet received it.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics Covid-19 Infections Survey showed an increase in cases across the whole of the UK. In the week ending 5 March, one in every 25 people in England, one in 13 in Northern Ireland, one in 18 in Scotland and one in 30 in Wales were estimated to have Covid-19.

Asked about the newly identified Deltacron variant, which contains elements of Delta and Omicron, Javid told BBC Breakfast a “handful” of cases had been identified in the UK but were “not of particular concern”. About 99.9% of infections in Britain were of the Omicron variant, he said.

Javid told Sky News: “We keep the situation very carefully under review. There’s no other variant of concern out there that is an issue at this point in time.”

Javid told Times Radio that officials continued to monitor infections, case numbers, hospital admissions and capacities. “We’re the most open country in Europe and that’s happened because of the country’s approach and the British people’s approach to vaccination,” he said.

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