Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was too early to discuss easing coronavirus restrictions in England.
She told Sky News: “We are in a crucial phase. Our vaccine rollout is ongoing, but we still have a long way to go.
“We cannot talk about easing restrictions and measures until we are absolutely clear that we have vaccinated priority groups.”
When asked if the target for lifting some measures in England remained in mid-February, she said that this was still the target for targeting those in the top four priority groups, but that “there was no time to over-relax speak “when the NHS is currently under such stress.
Ms. Patel added, “In all honesty, when I look at the incredible work currently going on at the NHS when we are still seeing over 38,000 people hospitalized, with the number of people still dying from coronavirus, the number of hospitalizations is increasing . This is not the time to talk about easing measures and we are not going to do so publicly just yet.
“We still have a long way to go.”
The UK recorded an additional 1,610 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday – the highest number reported in a single day since the outbreak began – bringing the country’s total to 91,470.
Separate numbers released by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths that mentioned Covid-19 on death certificates, as well as additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show that there are now 108,000 deaths from the virus in the UK has given.
When asked about the UK death toll, which is approaching 100,000, the Cabinet Secretary told BBC Breakfast, “I would put it on the scale of tragedy that every single life lost, every single death is personal and human Tragedy is.
“Our whole life has been touched and changed by the coronavirus, which is why we are in the current situation of a national lockdown.
“You have heard me say before that it is imperative that we focus on following the coronavirus rules – staying home and stopping the spread of this deadly, terrible virus and disease.
“And also look at the pressure on our NHS … it’s a big challenge and neither of us can go hand in hand to say that we are not in the woods yet.
“We still have a long way to go. The introduction of the vaccine is a positive step forward, but we obviously need to vaccinate a very large section of the population and this work is happening. “
The Home Secretary said it was not time to talk about whether the government had mistreated the pandemic.
“I don’t think this is the time to talk about mismanagement,” she said.
“We’ve been dealing with this virus, this pandemic, for about a year, and it’s a global pandemic all over the world.
“Governments react very differently – we’ve seen this around the world, but based on the facts, science, and evidence presented to us as decision makers. We have seen staggering deaths around the world.”
She said there were “a number of reasons” for the “appalling” death toll in the UK and mentioned that people with “comorbidities” are “more susceptible to this virus”.
Your comments come as scientists warned that coronavirus deaths will continue to rise for a few days.
Officials believe there are signs that the various lockdown measures in place across the country are having an impact on vaccine rollout and infection rates continue to decline.
However, the delay between infection and hospitalization means the death rate is unlikely to decrease until towards the end of the month.
Dr. Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow on Global Health at the University of Southampton, warned that there could be more “record days” in terms of the number of newly reported deaths.
“The lockdown is starting to affect new cases every day,” he said.
“However, some of the cases from early January will be hospitalized around this week, and deaths from these cases are expected to peak towards the end of this month.
“As a result, we will unfortunately see several more“ record days ”in terms of newly reported deaths.
“In the coming weeks, the combination of lockdown and the impact of the vaccine launch will result in a reduction in severe Covid-19 cases.”