Over 1,50,000 Covid deaths in Britain

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Hospitalisations and deaths are nevertheless far lower than in the first wave of the pandemic when people were unvaccinated…reports Asian Lite News

More than 150,000 people have died after catching coronavirus in the United Kingdom, the government said Saturday, in a milestone for one of the worst affected countries in Europe.

The government reported that deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test had reached 150,057 since the start of the pandemic. Russia is the only European country with a higher death toll.

The number of daily reported cases has fallen since a record figure of more than 200,000 last week, with 146,390 cases reported in the last 24 hours.

The massive number of people testing positive or in self-isolation has hit health staff numbers, prompting the defence ministry to announce Friday that it will send troops in to assist staff in hospitals.

Hospitalisations and deaths are nevertheless far lower than in the first wave of the pandemic when people were unvaccinated.

The government is urging the public to get boosters, which have already been administered to around 61 per cent of the population aged over 12. It is also seeking to persuade the unvaccinated to receive jabs.

PM mourns ‘terrible toll’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson posted a message on Twitter saying: “Coronavirus has taken a terrible toll on our country and today the number of deaths recorded has reached 150,000.”

Russia is the only European country with a higher reported death toll, at almost 315,000.

In a tweet on a black background, Johnson said that “each and every one of those” who died “is a profound loss to the families, friends and communities affected and my thoughts and condolences are with them”.

The number of daily reported cases in the UK surged to a record figure of more than 200,000 last week but has subsided slightly in recent days with 146,390 cases reported in the last 24 hours.

The country has introduced new rules including the compulsory wearing of face masks by schoolchildren during lessons, while Johnson resisted cracking down on social gatherings in England over the festive period.

The massive number of people testing positive or in self-isolation has hit staff numbers in all sectors including the state-funded health service, prompting the defence ministry to announce Friday that it will send troops in to assist staff in hospitals.

Hospitalisations and deaths are nevertheless far lower than in the first wave of the pandemic when people were unvaccinated.

The government is urging the public to get boosters, which have already been administered to around 61 per cent of the population aged over 12. It is also seeking to persuade the unvaccinated to receive jabs.

“Our way out of this pandemic is for everyone to get their booster or their first or second dose if they haven’t yet,” Johnson said on 8 January 2022.

‘End mass shots, treat Covid as flu’

Covid should be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu, and mass vaccination must end after the booster campaign, the former chairman of the UK’s vaccine task force has said.

According to Dr Clive Dix, there is a need to protect the vulnerable and not all must be vaccinated. Dix called for a major rethink of the UK’s Covid strategy, the Guardian reported.

“We need to analyse whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected if this is seen to be necessary. Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end,” he was quoted as saying.

He said ministers should urgently back research into Covid immunity beyond antibodies to include B-cells and T-cells (white blood cells). This could help create vaccines for vulnerable people specific to Covid variants, he said, adding: “We now need to manage the disease, not virus spread. So stopping progression to severe disease in vulnerable groups is the future objective.”

His intervention comes as it was revealed that more than 150,000 people across the UK have now died from Covid. Official figures published on Saturday recorded a further 313 deaths, the highest daily number since February last year when the last peak was receding. It takes the total recorded deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test to 150,057, the report said.

“Coronavirus has taken a terrible toll on our country and today the number of deaths recorded has reached 150,000,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.

“Each and every one of those is a profound loss to the families, friends and communities affected and my thoughts and condolences are with them. Our way out of this pandemic is for everyone to get their booster or their first or second dose if they haven’t yet,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dix’s remarks on ending mass vaccination come as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) ruled that fourth doses were not currently needed because most older people who had received boosters were still well-protected against Omicron, three months after the booster campaign began.

The UK Health Security Agency said protection for over-65s was about 90 per cent, three months after a booster jab. The JCVI’s deputy chair, Professor Anthony Harnden, said the committee was monitoring the impact of Omicron on older and vulnerable people on a weekly basis.

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