'Complete mess!' Boris' plans to contain Indian Covid variant descend into farce


    Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Bedford, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside have all seen a surge in the cases of the new more contagious strain. Public Health authorities in the eight areas are scrambling to contain the outbreaks and have called on people yet to be vaccinated to come forward and do so. In addition, the Government urged the 1.7 million residents of the afflicted regions to refrain from travelling outside their areas and to socialise outdoors where possible.

    However, no ministers saw fit to inform local health and council leaders of the the new Government guidance.

    Subsequently, local authorities told their residents there was no need to follow the guidelines.

    In a joint statement on Tuesday, the directors of public health from the eight areas said: “Following the national coverage of recently revised guidance, we have met with national officials and confirmed there are no restrictions on travel in or out of each of our areas: there are no local lockdowns.”

    The Government was forced into a humiliating climbdown, claiming that the guidance had only ever been optional.

    “We will be updating the guidance for areas where the new Covid-19 variant is spreading to make it clearer we are not imposing local restrictions,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

    “Instead, we are providing advice on the additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in those areas where the new variant is prevalent.”

    READ MORE: Covid revolt: Boris faces humiliating climbdown on guidance

    The fiasco comes as Bolton is experiencing a dramatic rise in the number of patients being admitted to hospital suffering from the Indian Covid variant (B1.617.2).

    Data seen by the Manchester Evening News indicates that hospitalisations of people infected with the new strain have more than tripled in just over a month.

    NHS figures show that the Royal Bolton Hospital is currently treating 43 patients with B1.617.2, compared to just 13 on April 18.


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