Health Secretary Sajid Javid announces government’s Covid Plan B ‘will not be implemented’ at this time

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has given an update regarding the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the UK at a Downing Street press conference.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has given an update regarding the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the UK at a Downing Street press conference (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images and Shutterstock)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has given an update regarding the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the UK at a Downing Street press conference (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images and Shutterstock)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has given an update regarding the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the UK at a Downing Street press conference.

The Health Secretary said the nation is approaching almost 1,000 Covid hospital admissions per day, with over 100 deaths a day.

Hide Ad

However, Mr Javid said the Government will not be implementing Plan B at this time, but that “we cannot be complacent” as Covid continues to remain a “threat”.

He said the Government’s primary line of defence will include encouraging those who have yet to receive a Covid jab to come forward and get one, with five million in the UK still yet to receive a dose.

Most Popular

    The rollout of vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds will also be stepped up, with plans in place to make the delivery of these easier.

    The Government also plans to encourage uptake of the Covid vaccine booster for those who are eligible to receive one.

    Hide Ad

    ‘We may soon have a new defence in our arsenal with two new antiviral drugs’

    Hide Ad

    The Health Secretary also mentioned the two new antivirals which the Government has signed a deal for.

    Antivirals are used to either treat people infected with a virus or to protect exposed individuals from becoming infected.

    Hide Ad

    Thousands of courses of the antivirals have been secured by the Government to be ready for use this winter, subject to approval by the UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

    The treatments, from pharmaceutical companies Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), and Pfizer, would be aimed at those most at risk from the virus, including the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

    Hide Ad

    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 480,000 courses of Molnupiravir, made by MSD, have been secured, as well as 250,000 courses of Pfizer’s PF-07321332/ritonavir.

    DHSC said Molnupiravir has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospital admission or death for at-risk adults with mild to moderate Covid-19 by 50%, with Pfizer’s antiviral currently at the beginning of its phase three trials.

    Hide Ad

    It is understood that, if approved, Molnupiravir could be available by the middle of November, and Pfizer’s treatment by the middle of January 2022.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I am delighted to confirm we may soon have a new defence in our arsenal with two new antiviral drugs that we have secured.

    Hide Ad

    “Our work is far from done though – and we’ll continue our tireless work to secure more innovative treatments so we can protect as many people as possible from the virus, its variants and future diseases.”