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3 Feb, 2021 20:40

Number of UK Covid-19 infections ‘still alarmingly high,’ but schools likely to reopen next month – PM

Number of UK Covid-19 infections ‘still alarmingly high,’ but schools likely to reopen next month – PM

As the UK hit the marker of 10 million people receiving a first dose of Covid vaccine, PM Boris Johnson has warned that levels of infection in the country remain “alarmingly high,” as he hoped to start easing lockdown this month.

The prime minister said almost 90 percent of those aged 75-and-over in England had been immunised and that the government has now procured over 400 million doses of seven different jabs.

Johnson added that, although there are “some signs of hope” due to the falling numbers of Covid-19 hospital patients, the health system is still “under huge pressure” as more than 32,000 people are still hospitalised with the virus.

“I am sorry to say that we have lost another 1,322 lives in the last 24 hours alone,” the PM said, during a televised coronavirus briefing. 

Also on rt.com No new hospitalisations in those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, says Oxford vaccine chief but warns of mutant variants

The new fatalities take the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test to almost 110,000, although the number of deaths over the last seven days has decreased compared to the previous week. 

Johnson said the government would announce the easing of England’s third national lockdown on February 22, which will likely begin with the re-opening of schools on March 8 “if the data allow.” 

The premier was also asked about the possibility of an even tougher clampdown on international travel to the UK, amid calls for the government to do more to halt the spread of imported Covid-19 variants from abroad.

Also on rt.com Price of domestic normality is strict Covid-19 travel quarantine rules, Scotland's National Clinical Director warns

But Johnson defended the government’s current border regimes, which he claimed are the “toughest” in the world, and promised that UK health secretary Matt Hancock would set out more details on Thursday. 

However the political editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper later said a source had told her there had been a “misunderstanding” and that Johnson’s claim of an upcoming border-action announcement was wrong. 

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