Matt Hancock warns UK 'don’t blow it’ as COVID cases rise
Kent, Essex and London have been singled out at areas where coronavirus cases are experiencing a concerning rise. Matt Hancock used the three places as part of his stark warning to the rest of the UK as the country heads into Christmas. The Health Secretary pleaded with Britons to “play [their] part” even as the vaccine rollout begins.
He told the briefing: “The fall in the number of cases has flattened off, and is now rising in some parts of the country like Kent, Essex and some parts of London.
“This shows us that this fight is not over, and that we must all play our part and stay on our guard now and through Christmas.
“We’ve got help on the horizon and we can now see that with the vaccine.
“So don’t blow it now.”
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Two local authorities in Kent currently have the highest number of COVID-19 positives per 100,000 people in England.
Swale has topped the list with a 624.3 rolling rate, with Medway in close second at 606.3.
Both areas saw an over 10 percent increase between November 28 and December 5.
Similarly, Essex’s borough of Basildon comes in at number three with 439 per 100,000.
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Mr Hancock went on to praise the vaccine rollout, emphasising its importance in the wake of the surge in coronavirus cases.
He told the Downing Street briefing: “This shows why the deployment of the vaccine is so important.
“I just want to take a moment to thank everybody involved in the vaccine rollout so far.”
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The Health Secretary continued: “It has been done with such professionalism and skill.
“Today I want to pay special tribute and thank pharmacists, who are working with such a tricky vaccine that must be kept cold at minus 70 degrees.
“They’ve done so much work to get ready for this moment at such pace.
“As of today, we’re vaccinating in 73 hospitals across the UK, tens of thousands of people have had the jab.
“I can confirm that we’ll shortly expand our vaccination programme further to ten more locations in England.”
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