HEALTH secretary Matt Hancock has not ruled out strengthening current Covid restrictions as hospital admissions continue to soar.
Speaking today to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, he said the NHS was under “very serious pressure”.
His comments come after almost 60,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK yesterday (Saturday) and the number of deaths after a positive test passed 80,000.
The UK recorded another 563 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test today, down from 1,065 deaths on Saturday.
However, there tends to be fewer deaths reported on Sundays, due to a reporting lag over the weekend.
Mr Hancock said: “Every time you try to flex the rules that could be fatal” and said staying at home was the “most important thing we can do collectively as a society”.
The health secretary said he did not want to speculate on whether the Government would further strengthen restrictions, after warnings from scientists on Saturday that they may need to be stricter.
“People need to not just follow the letter of the rules but follow the spirit as well and play their part,” he said.
England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said that if the virus continued on its current trajectory “many hospitals will be in real difficulties, and very soon”.
In a statement released on Sunday, he said that unless people started to follow the rules more strictly, emergency patients will have to be turned away from hospitals, causing “avoidable deaths”.