UK in better position in battling Covid-19 even as cases soar: PM

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that Britain is in an “incomparably better” position than last year in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the country’s daily infections repeatedly rising to new high these days fueled by the Omicron variant.

“Whatever the challenges that fate continues to throw in our way and whatever the anxieties we may have about the weeks and months ahead, particularly about Omicron and the growing numbers in hospitals…we can say one thing with certainty — our position this December 31 is incomparably better than last year,” Johnson said in his New Year’s message posted on social media this Friday.

The Prime Minister hailed the success of his government’s Covid-19 vaccine program and the “heroic” public response to the booster campaign, claiming that the target to offer a third dose to every eligible adult in the country had been met, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nearly 90 per cent of people aged 12 years and above in Britain have had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and more than 82 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 58 per cent have received booster jabs or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, Britain reported a new record increase of 189,213 daily coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected cases in the country to 12,748,050, according to official figures released on Thursday.

Johnson urged people in England, where no new social restrictions have been introduced before the end of 2021, to exercise caution in their celebrations. He also asked people living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, where tighter coronavirus restrictions are in place, to follow the Covid-19 guidelines.

The Prime Minister also hailed Britain’s economic performance in 2021, saying the country has the fastest economic growth in the Group of Seven (G7) countries and it has more people in work now than there were before the pandemic began.

Johnson’s remarks came amid major concerns over surging inflation in the country.

The Bank of England, Britain’s central bank, raised the interest rate earlier this December for the first time in more than three years amid surging inflation after cutting rate to record low during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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