Boris Johnson is reportedly “very worried” over the Indian strain of Covid-19 which threatens to derail his lockdown roadmap.
The Prime Minister held a press conference from Downing Street at 5.30pm on Friday alongside Chris Whitty.
Mr Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said it was highly likely the Indian variant is more transmissable.
But the PM refused to derail the lifting of lockdown on Monday May 17.
A Government source told The Times : “The PM is very worried.
“We know that case numbers are increasing very rapidly. The main difference is the fact we have the vaccine in our armoury now.
“We’re watching closely to see the impact on hospitalisations.”
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) concluded there is a “realistic possibility” the strain is 50% more transmissible than the one that emerged in Kent.
In minutes released on Friday night, Government scientists say that the variant could be 50% more infectious than the Kent strain.
If this is the case the variant could lead to 1,000 deaths a day and 10,000 daily hospitalisations by the summer.
Bolton Council chief executive Tony Oakman also highlighted the importance of “responsibilities” of the individual and people “adhering to the simple rules and advice that is available to them in terms of trying to make the right decisions and choices”.
He said the council is “glad” about the acceleration of the vaccination programme across Bolton and will keep “pushing” for people aged 18 and over to be able to get a jab.
Mr Oakman said it has been explained that a rollout to people aged 18-plus is not possible.
“At the minute we are having to work within the rules that have been explained in previous interviews, but we’re glad that we are getting the acceleration of the vaccination programme across Bolton, and we will keep pushing for 18 years plus,” he said.