Indian variant: Question Time audience member slams Zahawi
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The UK is battling against a form of coronavirus that originated from India as it quickly spreads throughout the country. This comes at a time as the country edges towards fully exiting lockdown on June 21, which would see all restrictions, including all legal limits on social contact ending. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far suggested there is nothing in the data from the fast-spreading Indian variant to suggest the country should deviate away from that roadmap.
But ITV News Political Editor Mr Peston has taken to Twitter to question Mr Johnson on worrying elements of the Government’s own infections data which he believes should be served as a warning when restrictions fully end on June 21.
Pointing to the latest daily coronavirus infections data from the Government, he wrote: “I am bemused by Boris Johnson’s optimism about the prospects for full unlocking on 21 June, based on the data he says he is seeing.
“Because the Government’s own daily published data is showing worrying trends for the Indian variant.
“For example there were 280 Covid19 infections reported for Bolton alone yesterday, 10 percent of the UK total, and as you can see here the trend is steeply upward.
“It is obviously encouraging that there has not been a sharp associated rise in hospitalisations.”
Mr Peston further warned: “But it is still relatively early days.
“I think the important point is NOT that we already know that the unlocking on Monday was a mistake or that it would be unwise to unlock further on 21 June.
“It is that there is nothing yet in the data to back up the PM’s claim that trends are moving in a benign direction and we can broadly breathe a sigh of relief.
“It is too early to draw conclusions, and infections data is not encouraging.
“Though if you want a trend that looks good for Bolton, it is that vaccination rates are rising.”
The Prime Minister has continued to insist he has not seen any indications England will have to “deviate” from his plans to scrap all coronavirus restrictions on June 21.
He also insisted there is no need for so-called vaccine passports to be used to gain entry to pubs.
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Speaking to reporters in Portsmouth on Friday, Mr Johnson said: “We will be letting everybody know exactly what sort of arrangements to expect for June 21.
“But what I can tell you, and just to stress that I am still seeing nothing in the data that leads me to think that we’re going to have to deviate from the road map.
“Obviously we must remain cautious but I’m seeing nothing that makes me think we have to deviate.
“But on June 21 and vaccine certification – or Covid status certification I should say – people should bear in mind that I don’t see any prospect of certificates to go into pubs or anything else.”
When asked whether the public will continue to be asked to wear face masks, he replied: “We will let people know as much as we possibly can by the end of the month about weddings, for instance.
“All the details we’ll try and let people know by the end of the month about exactly where we think we’ll be on June 21, Step 4.”
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