'Great task' to restore freedoms and still protect health services

The new health minister has announced the “big task” that lies ahead when Britain reopens after the restrictions of Covid-19.

Sajid Javid spoke to the House of Commons for the first time in the new role following the resignation of Matt Hancock on Saturday (July 26).

“There is still a big task ahead of us – to restore our freedoms. Freedoms which, except in the greatest of circumstances, no government should ever curtail.

“So my job is to give back the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great, while protecting life and our NHS.

“This task is made all the more difficult by the Delta variant, of which we now know that it accounts for around 95 percent of all new cases in Great Britain.

Mr Javid highlighted the difficulties of the Delta variant, first identified in India, and said the government was using the four-week delay in easing restrictions in England to “protect as many people as possible”.

He told the House of Commons: “By the time the government made this decision on June 14, over 4.3 million people over 40 had received a first dose but not a second.

“Now there are 3.2 million people over 40.”

“We can all be sure of how many more people will get the life-saving opportunity that the vaccine offers.”

Mr Javid also praised his predecessor, Mr Hancock, telling MPs, “He has worked hard during all of these testing times.

“He has achieved a lot in his work and I know that he will have more to offer in public life – and I wish him all the best.”

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