- 13: 20, 14 Jan 2022
- Updated: 13: 27, 14 Jan 2022
BORIS Johnson is unlikely to be seen in public for an entire week after a close family member tested positive for covid.
Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “The PM is following guidance to do daily tests and limit contact with others. The positive test was Wednesday, so the PM will continue in this guidance up until and including Tuesday of next week.
“In line with the guidance, he’s reducing contact. He’ll be working from No 10, doing daily tests and limiting contact with others both outside No 10 and indeed inside No 10 as well, having limited contact with others in the building, and conducting meetings online.”
Asked if this meant Johnson would not be spotted for the next week, the spokesman said: “In line with the guidance, which is to limit close contact as much as possible and to work from home as much as possible, you wouldn’t expect the prime minister to go outside of that guidance. But that doesn’t necessarily preclude him doing any media interviews.”
Read our covid live blog below for the latest news and updates…
Paracetamol and ibuprofen shortage fears
BRITS have been stocking up on paracetamol and ibuprofen as millions have been stuck nursing Omicron in recent weeks.
It has led to shortages on the shelves in some areas, the latest Office for National Statistics report found.
Around 30 per cent of shops across the UK have low or no supplies of paracetamol, data up to January 10 found.
And about 30 per cent are running low or have no ibuprofen.
Professor Richard Wilding told the Mirror: “People are having boosters, which probably means there’s going to be an increase in people taking this product, then you’ve got colds, flus and Covid.
“Supply needs to actually catch up with that and work with that… the new normal for supply chains unfortunately is an awful lot of volatility and challenges with that.
“Products like this are therefore more likely to be disrupted.”
Gene that ‘DOUBLES your risk of severe Covid illness’
SCIENTISTS say they have discovered a gene that doubles the risk of severe Covid illness.
A team in Poland claim that, after age, weight and gender, a specific gene is the most crucial factor for determining severe Covid risk.
The gene is present in around 14 per cent of Polish people, up to nine per cent of Europeans and 27 per cent of Indians, they say.
Experts said the research could be used to detect patients who are in more urgent need of care, should they end up in hospital.
It could also encourage those carrying the gene to get a vaccine, as only half of Poles are double-jabbed.
Researchers looked at around 1,500 Covid patients, the university said.
The study showed that our genetic profile is “even more important” than existing underlying illness, a press release claimed.
If you’ve got ‘cold-like symptoms you’re more likely to have Covid’
Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London and head of the ZOE Symptom Tracker app said that if you’ve got cold-like symptoms you are more likely to have Covid.
Prof Spector explained: “Over 50 per cent of people with a cold-like symptom have PCR proven Covid.”
The NHS said you should call 111 or seek medical attention if you’re gradually feeling more unwell or more breathless.
This could mean that you need an aide to help you breath such as more oxygen.
The NHS also states that you should seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around and if you feel very weak, achy or tired.
Omicron symptoms that mean you need URGENT medical help
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has outlined five symptoms of coronavirus that may mean you need urgent medical help.
The CDC says you must seek medical attention if you experience any of the below symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Inability to wake up (struggling to get up) or stay awake
But the experts say that this list is not definitive and you should seek medical attention if there are any other symptoms that are concerning you.
PM ‘must scrap Covid passports to save his career’
BORIS Johnson must scrap masks and Covid vaccine passports, ditch the booze culture at No 10 and have a staff clear out to save his career, Cabinet ministers demanded last night.
One Cabinet minister told The Sun yesterday: “There’s a very easy way to get back into MPs’ good books, but there will be a fight.”
They added that the PM would need “stomach” to stare down medics and teaching unions who want mask wearing to continue for months to come.
But they said the plan is “his only ace left to play”.
Another senior Tory said it is now just a question of “when” Boris will be booted out of Downing Street. The MP said: “You can’t have somebody who misleads you.” Boris was bunkered down in No 10 yesterday after cancelling a planned trip to the Red Wall after a family member caught Covid.
Read the article in full here.
Vaccine effectiveness & Omicron
Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.
In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.
Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.
Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.
With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Other long-term Omicron symptoms
There are several other long-term Omicron symptoms that can last for months – and here is how you can relieve them.
eople recovering from Omicron can experience the following:
- Muscle weakness and stiff joints
- Extreme fatigue and feeling low on energy
- Reduced mobility
- Phlegm build-up
- Weaker physical fitness
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Lack of sense of smell or taste
- Stomach problems and this includes heartburn, diarrhoea and vomiting
- Difficulties swallowing
But there are ways to relieve symptoms like a build-up of phlegm, and that’s through deep breathing.
This technique expands your lungs and helps clear the phlegm.
To do this, make sure you’re comfortable and that your chest and shoulders are relaxed.
Worrying side effect Omicron patients must watch out for
DOCTORS are warning about a worrying side effect that Omicron patients should watch out for – even after they’ve recovered from Covid.
In an interview with Livemint, Dr Harish Chafle, a senior consultant at Global Hospital, explained the back-breaking pain caused while recovering from Omicron.
“It is a possibility that due to inflammatory mediators, this variant is causing more myalgia than any other variant post-recovery,” the outlet reported.
Myalgia, according to John Hopkins Medicine, describes a range of muscle pains, with symptoms that include muscle cramps and joint pain.
A second reason for sudden post-Covid back pain may be Omicron’s effect on the musculoskeletal system, which the variant attacks more than any other variant, per the outlet.
Never too late to join The Sun’s Jab Army
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
‘NHS will remain under significant pressure’
Heath Secretary Sajid Javid has said that “there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow”.
He told the Commons this week: “Due to the lag between infections and hospitalisations, the NHS will remain under significant pressure over the next few weeks.
“It is encouraging, however, that during this wave we have not seen an increase in Covid-19 intensive care patients, and there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow.
“We know that Omicron is less severe. But no-one should be under any illusions – it is severe for anyone that ends up in hospital, and that’s far more likely if you have not had the jab.”
Sajid Javid says there’s ‘no need’ for Covid passports
Sajid Javid is set to now argue that there’s no need for them with Omicron’s wave now weakening.
A Whitehall source told the paper: “There was always a very high threshold for the policy and it looks increasingly likely in a couple of weeks that threshold won’t be met.
“The way cases are going it will be hard to justify renewing.”
This comes as Heath Secretary Sajid Javid said “there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow”.
Covid passports ‘to be SCRAPPED this month’
The vaccine passes are to be abandoned this month after Health Secretary Sajid Javid “effectively killed off the policy,” according to reports.
The Health Sec told MPs that he shared their “instinctive discomfort” at the vaccine passport policy.
Plan B measures are reviewed on January 26, and it’s becoming likely that the only Covid rule which will continue beyond then is mask-wearing indoors, reports The Times.
This means that vaccine Covid passports are set to be dropped altogether.
Omicron will infect ‘most people’
Janet Woodcock, of the Food and Drug Administration, warned lawmakers in Congress that Omicron will infect “most people”, the Associated Press reports.
She said: “I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID, all right?
“What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function — transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.”
Marijuana compounds ‘could help fight, prevent, and treat Covid’
MARIJUANA compounds could help fight, prevent and treat Covid-19 when teamed with the vaccine, a study claims.
The scientists at Oregon State University and Oregon Health and Sciences University, pointed out smoking marijuana offers no protection against Covid-19.
Their findings showed that cannabigerolic acid (CGBA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) could be used to “prevent infection”, according to KTVZ.
Lead researcher Richard van Breemen said the compounds do not make up the active ingredient in cannabis, like THC, which causes the high.
He said: “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”
Read more here.
New rules you need to know
Under new rules, which will come into force on Monday (January 17), people in England with Covid can leave isolation after five full days.
This is providing they test negative on lateral flow tests on day five and six however.
So, if you didn’t have any symptoms but tested positive on a lateral flow, you must wait until you get a negative test on the fifth and sixth day after you had that first result.
And if you did have Covid symptoms and then tested positive on a lateral flow, you can take tests on the fifth and sixth day after the first day you noticed symptoms.
Boris Johnson’s full apology
Boris Johnson told MP’s: “I certainly wish that things would have happened differently on the evening of May the 20th and I apologise for all the misjudgements that have been made, for which I take full responsibility.”
And he claimed he thought it was a “work event” and he had thanked groups of staff “before going back into my office 25 minutes later”.
He said that “with hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside… I should have recognised that even if it did fall within the guidance, there would be millions of people who would simply not see it that way.”
79% of Adults have had booster
Sajid Javid says 79% of eligible adults have now had a booster, following the great vaccine effort.
The figure for over 50’s is also at 91%.
The Health Secretary has said the UK is the most boosted large country in the world, per capita.
Labour welcomes the changes
Wes Streeting, The Shadow Health Secretary, says Labour welcomes the announcement the health secretary has made on the reduction of the Covid isolation period to five days.
However Wes Streeting urged Javid to ‘sort out’ the accessibility of testing after many struggled to get test kits.
He said “Workforce shortages are one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS and the wider economy.”
Self-isolation CUT to five full days
The Health Secretary revealed the major rule change will coming in next Monday to ministers today in the House of Commons.
Calls had come to slash the isolation period to stop mass staff absences, which have left the NHS struggling.
Health chiefs had resisted doing this sooner, after reducing isolation from ten to seven days just before Christmas.
But after Government research suggested the rule change would only result in an extra two in 100 people ending quarantine while still infectious, ministers changed their minds.
Who are the members of the 1922 Committee?
The 1922 Committee has 18 executive members who organise weekly meetings and other business.
They earned the nickname “men in suits” or “men in grey suits” in the 1980s after prompting the resignation of Margaret Thatcher.
Committee Chair Sir Graham Brady resigned in May 2019, but was re-elected in July 2021.
Here’s a list of current executive members:
- Sir Graham Brady (Chair)
- William Wragg (Joint Vice-Chair)
- Nusrat Ghani (Joint Vice-Chair)
- Bob Blackman (Joint Executive Secretary)
- Gary Sambrook (Joint Executive Secretary)
- Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Treasurer)
- Sir Bernard Jenkin
- Karl McCartney
- Sir Bernard Jenkin
- Jason McCartney
- Nicola Richards
- Sheryll Murray
- Richard Holden
- Martin Vickers
What is the 1922 Committee? (Continued…)
They are still under the control of the party whips, so their ability to stoke insurrection is partly limited.
But it is the Committee that assesses, organises and ballots on leadership challenges — meaning its power, when called upon, can be huge.
The move ultimately failed, with May winning with a majority of 83, with 200 Conservative MPs voting for her to remain, and 117 voting against her.
However, on May 24, 2019, Mrs May resigned her position, a decision triggered by a meeting with Brady who warned her of a new no-confidence vote.
What is the 1922 Committee?
Formerly known as the Conservative Private Members’ Committee, “The 22” allow less senior members of the Tory party to air their concerns, report on constituency work and coordinate legislative agendas.
The committee holds a monthly meeting with the party leader and gives an update on opinions within the party.
All this is done without fear of reprisal from Cabinet ministers (or Shadow Cabinet frontbenchers if the Tories are in opposition) because they are not permitted to be formal members.
Only since 2010 have frontbenchers been given an open invitation to attend meetings.
What is a Vote of no confidence by the Opposition?
This involves a motion of no confidence being moved in the House of Commons coming from the Opposition, with the wording “that this House has no confidence in HM Government”.
The backing of a majority of MPs would topple the Government – it only requires one more MP to vote in favour than against.
On September 25, 2019, Tory PM Boris Johnson challenged his Labour opposition MPs to offer a vote of no confidence.
Johnson, who has twice failed to trigger a General Election and is under fire after unlawfully suspending Parliament, laid the gauntlet to his colleagues who will be torn about the prospect of an election in the midst of a Brexit crisis.
What is a vote of no confidence by the Government?
This is in effect a threat of dissolution by the Government, which persuades backbench MPs to support a bill.
A General Election could be triggered if the Government loses, but it will more likely end in the resignation of the leader.
May survived despite a third of MPs voting against her, resigning five months later on May 24, 2019.
Jacob Rees-Mogg stands by Boris
Jacob Rees-Mogg told Times Radio that he is still the “best person” to lead the country.
He dismissed Tory MPs baying for blood as “always unhappy” critics who harbour long-standing grudges against the PM.
Sajid Javid said he “completely understands” why the public feels “let down” but they should wait for the probe to finish.