Boris Johnson has today pledged to increase the speed of Britain’s vaccine rollout to a million jabs a day in an attempt to beat the increasing prevalence of the Indian variant of the virus amid fears it could derail the country’s exit from lockdown.
Growing questions are also being asked about the failure to make people arriving into the country from India quarantine earlier, after it emerged the government failed to put India on the ‘red list’ even though infection rates were nearly 50 times higher among arrivals from the country than the rest of the UK.
Of the 3,345 people touching down in Britain from India between March 25 and April 7, some 4.8% tested positive for Covid, compared to just 0.1 per cent of people in England, Public Health England data shows.
It is the latest statistic to be brandished at the Prime Minister, with pressure growing over his decision to delay banning travel from the Asian nation until late April, even though flights to and from neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh were restricted two weeks earlier.
Meanwhile, it was also claimed today upwards of 20,000 passengers who may have been carrying a virulent strain were given the green light to enter the country without quarantine as Mr Johnson put off enforcing a travel ban.
Fears are growing that the Indian variant of coronavirus is up to 50% more infectious than the Kent strain, which would mean it could spread widely enough through the younger unvaccinated members of the population that it could still serious third wave despite the success of the vaccine drive.
Ministers are hoping to accelerate the vaccine drive because the jab is still effective against the Indian variant and wider levels of vaccination could halt its spread, but as it stands lockdown restrictions will still be eased further on Monday.
Read more: ‘Indian variant’ card is played (so yawningly predictable) – Jackboot Johnson calls in the military with plan to fake ‘vaccinate’ a million people a day including entire households – It’s never going to end people unless WE end it with mass non-cooperation with blatant fascism