Rise in Covid cases ‘expected’ – Health Secretary

Sajid Javid said that the UK is in a ‘good position’.

Ella Pickover
Monday 14 March 2022 09:58
Sajid Javid said that the UK ‘remains in a very good position’ (PA)
Sajid Javid said that the UK ‘remains in a very good position’ (PA)

A rise in Covid infections was to be “expected” following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in England, the Health Secretary has said.

Sajid Javid said that the UK remains in a “very good position” but he urged adults eligible for a booster vaccine to come forward and get the jab.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics Covid-19 Infections Survey showed an increase in cases across the whole of the UK.

(PA Graphics)

Meanwhile, Mr Javid said that a “handful” of cases of the so-called Deltacron variant had been identified in the UK, but were “not of particular concern”.

Some 99.9% of infections in Britain are of the Omicron variant, he added.

Mr 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.

“We have seen some rises in infections over the last week but given the increase in social mixing this was to be expected.”

Asked about cases of Deltacron in the UK, Mr Javid told BBC Breakfast: “I think there’s only a handful of cases here in the UK, it’s not something that’s of particular concern to us at this point in time.

“We do keep the situation under review on a daily basis, but the dominant variant in the UK – 99.9% of infections are Omicron infections.

“And whilst the rate has gone up modestly in the last few days, that’s to be expected as we are now open as a country and there’s more social mixing, but there’s nothing in the data at this point in time that gives us any cause for concern.”

The Deltacron variant appears to contain genetic material from both the Delta and Omciron variants.

UK health officials have identified a small number of cases in the UK but have said that the variant is “not exhibiting a growth rate that is unusual or alarming”.

He told Times Radio that officials continue to monitor infections, case numbers, hospital admissions and hospital capacities.

“Taking all of that together, we remain in an overall very good position,” he said.

“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.

“But also the support that we have from all the different treatments that the NHS is now able to offer and on our testing offer where we focus very much on the most vulnerable.”

He added: “The most important thing that we can all be doing personally is to make sure we are vaccinated, and whilst it’s great that when it comes to boosters that we have eight out of 10 adults that are eligible boosted – which is fantastic to see, one of the highest rates in the world – there are still there two out of 10 that are not, and it’d be great for those people to come forward not just only to protect themselves, but their communities too.”

There were 72,898 cases of Covid-19 reported in the UK on Friday.

On February 24, when most of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions in England came to an end, there were 38,933 cases reported.

According to the ONS survey, in the week ending March 5, one in every 25 people in England had Covid in the UK, the survey suggests.

One in every 13 people in Northern Ireland and one in every 18 people in Scotland were estimated to have Covid-19, as were one in every 30 people in Wales.

There are also almost 12,000 people in hospital with Covid-19.

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