Evasive Boris Johnson can't hide reality of returning Covid pressures on hospitals: The Yorkshire Post says

While Boris Johnson notably refused to answer a series of specific questions from Keir Starmer about the potential impact of July 19 unlocking plan at Prime Minister’s Questions there was one straight response he did give.

Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor /PA Wire
Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor /PA Wire

When asked by the Labour leader whether we are heading for a summer of “chaos and confusion” given the Health Secretary’s warning of a potential 100,000 Covid cases per day and a resulting knock-on effect of millions needing to self-isolate, the Prime Minister paused before saying, “No is the answer to that”.

It is to be hoped that is the case but Mr Johnson was notably reticent when asked directly about the expected numbers of deaths, hospitalisations and cases of long Covid that will emerge following the potential easing of restrictions in England on July 19.

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He also refused to say how many people he expects to be self-isolating this summer – instead repeatedly trying to change the subject to whether or not Labour support the move to end legal restrictions.

Sir Keir’s answer was that Labour want a “controlled” rather than “chaotic” reopening but Mr Johnson was right to point out that ultimately there appears to be little difference with the Government beyond the Opposition calling for face masks to remain mandatory on public transport.

Nevertheless, it is Mr Johnson who is responsible for making the decisions and Mr Johnson who will be judged on how the coming weeks and months play out.

Within minutes of PMQs finishing, it was reported that Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust is cancelling surgery for some cancer patients as a result of rising Covid cases with two coronavirus wards full and another set to be opened.

There is little doubt that a highly testing period lies ahead – even if it, thankfully, will involve far lower level of deaths and hospitalisations that would have been the case in the pre-vaccination phase of the pandemic.

Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor /PA Wire

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