UK is at 'worst point' of pandemic, Matt Hancock warns

Matt Hancock has confirmed that the government “will not rule out taking further action if necessary” to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

At a press conference at 10 Downing Street, the Minister of Health explained the nationwide introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The number of people in the UK who have received a first dose is close to 2.3 million, according to government figures.

78,005 initial doses were administered in Northern Ireland, in addition to 1,959,151 in England, 86,039 in Wales and 163,377 in Scotland, for a total of 2,286,572 in the UK.

Almost 400,000 second doses have been administered to date, including 374,613 in England, 79 in Wales, 13,949 in Northern Ireland and, as of January 3, 36 in Scotland. This gives a total UK dose of 388,677 seconds.

The government intends to offer an initial dose of the vaccine to all adults by fall 2021.

While important work is underway to immunize the four main priority groups, Hancock urged the public to stay home and reduce all social contact by acting like “you have the virus”.

He warned the government if necessary to take additional steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The new variant is “highly contagious” and “we are at the worst point in this pandemic”.

Hancock added, “It is your actions now that can make a difference.”

Boris Johnson warned today (Jan. 11) that stricter lockdown measures may be required.

The Prime Minister stressed that “now is the time for maximum vigilance” amid increasing calls for stricter lockdown restrictions as case rates rise in several parts of the country.

During a visit to a vaccine center at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, the Prime Minister said: “We will keep the rules under review.

“Where we have to tighten it, we will.

“We already have rules that, if properly followed, we believe can make a huge difference.

“Now people have to focus … when they go shopping, whether they go to the park for a cup of coffee or whatever, they have to think about the spread of the disease.”

Mr Johnson said that “more important than us is just bringing out new rules” that people should follow the existing guidelines.

He added, “In supermarkets, people need to keep their distance, make sure they are wearing masks and do the right thing.

“We have to enforce the rules in supermarkets. When people get takeaway drinks in cafes, they need to avoid spreading the disease there and avoid mixing too much.

“Now is the time for maximum vigilance, maximum compliance with the rules.

“When we feel like things are not being watched properly, we obviously have to do more.”

Regarding vaccines, the Prime Minister said roughly 40% of 80 year olds in the UK have now been vaccinated, with roughly 23% of senior care home residents being vaccinated.

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