RISHI Sunak has backed calls to cut Covid isolation to FIVE days to stem a growing NHS staff crisis, it has been reported.
The prime minister is believed to be among a number of ministers advocating reducing isolation from seven days to help hospital staff struggling to keep up with patients.
About 60% of the cabinet is understood to support the idea, according to a government source, walkie talkie report.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, International Trade Secretary and Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, are also expected to support the move as long as it is supported by evidence. science.
This support comes as a string of extremely positive studies show that Omicron IS is milder than other strains, with the UK’s first official report showing a 50 to 70 lower risk of hospitalisation. % against Delta.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get key additional vaccines in British arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.
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On Sunday, Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi declared Britain would be the first to put the pandemic behind us, but warned the effects of Covid could still linger for another 10 years.
And today Zahawi said there is hope on the horizon as he becomes the first Cabinet Minister to shorten the period of self-isolation from seven to five days.
Speaking on Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday, he said: “I hope we will be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you make the transition from pandemic to pandemic, and then after that. deal with this no matter how long it stays with us, whether it’s five, six, seven, 10 years.”
It comes as:
Experts have suggested this weekend Deadly bugs may soon be like the common cold in spring – with data showing 98% of Britons have ‘some form’ of resistance to Omicron.
And the steps suggested by Zahawi were taken to relax the current restrictions – the same day as Travel rules have been relaxed to allow Britons to take lateral flow tests instead of PCR after arriving in the UK.
The former vaccines minister told The Sunday Times that cutting the quarantine from seven to five days for Britons who tested positive for Covid would be “more helpful” after a flurry of NHS funds announced emergency due to lack of personnel.
He said the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) was checking the length of the quarantine, explaining: “We have to be careful about whether we’re moving because of what you might get. being really a false positive, where spikes are higher because people come out of it too soon.”
He added: “But they say they’ll look at it and if the evidence is there if you’re asymptomatic and you’re vaccinated and boosted and you have two days out of seven days of negative lateral flow testing. counted, they said they would keep that in the review process..
“It will certainly help alleviate some of the pressure on schools, on the critical workforce and others.
“But I would absolutely be driven by advice from experts, scientists, on whether we should move to five days from seven.
“What you don’t want is to produce false results because of a higher level of infection.”
Zahawi says UKHSA wants to reconsider the length of the quarantine.
He added: “If they look at it and say they’re going to reduce it to five days, which is even better for me, that’s even more helpful.”
Experts yesterday told The Sun Online that the UK is emerging as one of the most immune countries in the world.
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However, experts who initially warned Britain needed to take harsh measures or face thousands of deaths from Omicron have now admitted they were wrong.
Modelers advising the Government admit that the number of winter deaths from the new strain will be “significantly” lower than they had predicted, mainly because the strain is less deadly than them. think Online email report.
Dr Nick Davies and his team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine built early models assuming Omicron was as deadly as the Delta strain.
He said: “Now we know that doesn’t seem to be the case in this case, as people end up being hospitalized with Omicron, but they don’t need serious care. [to the same extent as with Delta]”
“The death toll will be greatly reduced [compared with original estimates]. “
He added: “It is clear that our understanding of Omicron has changed dramatically over the past two weeks.”
Other experts have also called for a “new norm” and focus on disease management to enable people to return to normal lives.
Dr Clive Dix, former UK vaccine team leader, said: “It makes no sense to give more and more vaccines to people who are not seriously ill. We should just let them get sick and deal with it.
“We need to analyze whether we would use an existing reinforcement campaign to ensure vulnerable people are protected, if this is deemed necessary. Population-based mass vaccination in the UK should now end.
“Now we need to manage the epidemic, not let the virus spread. Therefore, preventing progression to severe disease in vulnerable groups is a future goal.
“We should be looking at when to stop testing and have individuals quarantine when they are unwell and return to work when they feel ready, the same way we do during a bad flu season.”
Another top doctor ruled out a “major increase” in coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths as he said case rates are likely to be stabilizing nationally.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter told Times Radio: “Cases are not increasing as fast as they used to be and may have stabilized across the country, but are at a very high level and will not decline rapidly.
“We’re definitely not going to see a huge increase in intensive care admissions and deaths and those really dire outcomes.”
I hope we will be one of the first major economies to show the world how you go from pandemic to pandemic.
Asked if Boris Johnson had taken a “gamble” in fending off the carnival-time embargoes, he replied: “It’s a gamble, and you know, all of it. what I think the best we can say is he can get away with it, but we’ll have to see over the next couple of weeks.”
A senior doctor said around half a million vaccination appointments were being offered online in the UK to 12-15 year olds in January – with around 500 clinics and 300 centres.
And the Health Secretary criticized “anti-vaccination fanatics” after he revealed that nine out of ten Covid patients in the ICU had not had their booster shot.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Sajid Javid said that “70% of Covid patients lying in bed in the intensive care unit are shockingly unvaccinated …” before causing “disappointment” that the tennis star Djokovic is “promoting skepticism” about vaccines.
There were a total of 141,472 cases reported in the UK on Sunday after 146,390 were reported yesterday as the number of Covid deaths passed the 150,000 mark.
This means cases today fell for the fifth day in a row as experts warning of a spike in Omicron deaths admitted they were wrong.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8177374/rishi-sunak-backs-call-cut-isolation/ Rishi Sunak ‘supports call to isolate Covid for 5 days’ to prevent spiraling NHS staff crisis