A significant increase in daily fatalities has prompted Labour to question the government`s handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Hospitals have reported treating a record 30,000 Covid patients within a day while figures have shown a daily death toll of 1,041 people, the worst recorded since the wave of the virus last spring. According to the figures, new Covid-19 cases have hit a fresh high of 62,322.
When the new variant of the coronavirus came, the government`s Sage committee warned that imposing stricter measures, including closing schools was the only way to bring it under control. However, when new lockdown rules were discussed, Boris Johnson insisted that tiered Covid restrictions in England had been effective in controlling the virus.
“We had a tiered system that did not work, and then we had the debacle of the delayed decision to change the rules on mixing at Christmas,” Starmer said. “The most recent advice about the situation we are now in was given on 22 December, but no action was taken for two weeks until Monday of this week. These are the decisions that have led us to the position we are now in.”
Boris Johnson accused Labour leader Keir Starmer of making “party political points” when he stated that another lockdown was “not just bad luck and it is not inevitable” but the result of the PM`s poor decision-making.
Johnson blamed the new variant, saying: “It is inescapable that the facts are changing, and we must change our response.”
The government sparked chaos by making U-turn schools opening, with teachers having to prepare online lessons at just hours’ notice. Boris Johnson promised that schools would reopen first after the lockdown.
“Schools were the very last thing to close, as I’d always promised that they would be,” he said. “When we begin to move out of lockdown, I promise that they will be the very first things to reopen. That moment may come after the February half-term, although we should remain extremely cautious about the timetable ahead.”
The majority of Tory MPs backed the idea of the new lockdown to control the surge in Covid cases.