Javid to make Commons statement amid speculation Covid-19 isolation could be cut

Javid to make Commons statement amid speculation Covid-19 isolation could be cut
The Health Secretary is widely expected to confirm a reduction in the time a coronavirus case has to isolate for.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to confirm that the time Covid-19 cases have to spend in self-isolation is to be cut.

Mr Javid will update MPs na quinta feira, a day after Boris Johnson said a decision would be made on the issue “as fast as possible”.

The Government has been under pressure to bring the situation in England into line with the Estados Unidos where the isolation period has been cut to five days.

The current UK Health Security Agency guidance is for cases to isolate for at least six full days from the point at which they have symptoms or get a positive test, whichever is first, with release from self-isolation after two negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven. People can leave self-isolation on day seven.

(PA Graphics)

The changes are expected to see people being allowed to leave self-isolation after completing five full days, with negative tests on days five and six.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said: ” We are certainly looking at reducing the isolation period, and we hope to bring you more about that… as fast as possible.”

The decision is likely to be welcomed by Tories who have called for the change and could help ease pressure on the embattled Prime Minister.

It will also help address staff shortages across the economy and public services by allowing people to return to work earlier.

The health service has been under intense pressure because of high Covid rates, leading to both hospital admissions and staff absences increasing.

Um total de 40,031 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-19 reasons on January 9, pra cima 2% on the previous week (39,142) – and more than three times the number at the start of December.

But NHS England data shows that hospital staff absences due to Covid have dropped every day since reaching a peak of 49,941 on January 5.

The total includes staff who were ill with coronavirus or who were having to self-isolate.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, told Times Radio that data showed Covid-19 cases were now coming down but “we are still seeing very high levels of hospital admissions and we are still seeing significant numbers of patients on mechanical ventilation”.

She said the numbers in intensive care are not as high as the peak of the pandemic, but were still posing a challenge for the NHS.

Ela adicionou: “I think there is considerable uncertainty still about how this will play out because levels come down in London, but they’re going up in the North West, they’re going up in the East of England, so we need to think really carefully about how it’s impacting, and impacting differentially across the country.”

Asked if the NHS was in a “middle phase” between being overwhelmed and working at full capacity, ela disse: “I think we’re somewhere between the middle phase and going towards still being beyond full stretch, realmente, because what we have to remember is that the NHS isn’t an island, we have a huge impact of Covid across all of the different services that work alongside and with the NHS.”

Problems in social care and staff absences were having a knock-on effect on how many people could be discharged from hospital, she added.

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