THE ARMY is set to be deployed in Bolton in a race to crack down on the Indian variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced this evening.

Cases in the Greater Manchester town have risen by 158 per cent in the last week.

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The graph above shows the case rate in Bolton from September 2020 to May. The orange line shows how cases have remained relatively flat in people who are over 60 – most of whom have had their vaccine. In younger people (the blue line) cases have shot up over the last week[/caption]


This chart shows hospital admissions in the Greater Manchester area. The orange line shows how there has been a slight up tick in cases in the region. As cases of the virus increase – hospitalisations follow[/caption]

Surge testing had already been deployed in the area in order to detect cases of the Indian and South African variant.

Tonight Mr Johnson said the army would help push out more surge tests and vaccinations will also be pushed in both Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen – with sites opening for longer in these areas.

He said: “We will be throwing everything we have at this task. Colonel Russ Miller, commander of the North West region, will be deployed to support local leaders in managing the local response on the ground.

“For those living in Bolton there is now a new, greater risk from this variant.

“The army will be out on the streets handing out tests”.

Mr Johnson urged people to continue to play their part by getting vaccinated and tested and said this would be the best way to suppress the virus.

It comes as:

  • Boris Johnson reveals millions of Brits will get second Covid jab SOONER amid Indian variant fears
  • PM warns India variant may DERAIL June 21 lockdown lift and says we face ‘hard choices’ over roadmap
  • Indian strain could be 50% MORE infectious & spark surge in hospitalisations, new Sage docs warn
  • Scotland lockdown: Local measures RETURN as Nicola Sturgeon delays her roadmap over India variant fears
  • Covid R rate creeps up and could be 1.1 in parts of UK – amid fears of Indian variant spreading

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this night said we could be in a ‘tight race’ against the virus

Mr Johnson added: “There will be surge testing with mobile testing units and there will be targeted new activity in Bolton and Blackburn to accelerate the vaccine take up amongst the eligible cohorts including longer opening hours at sites.”

Despite the swift actions, Mr Johnson reassured Brits that his roadmap out of lockdown would continue on Monday.

The plan will mean that pubs can open indoors and overnight stays will be permitted – did however warn though that it could push back further lifting of restrictions in June.

Sage papers released today, taken from a meeting yesterday stated that in the areas where numbers of infections are increasing rapidly under the measures currently in place, an even faster increase can be expected if measures are relaxed.

This means that the government advisers believe not tightening restrictions now as infections are rising in areas such as Bolton could mean they continue to rise at a faster pace.

It is believed that the Indian variant is more transmissible than those already in circulation.

Mr Johnson tonight said it wasn’t clear yet how much more transmissible the virus is.


Source: The Sun

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