England is a “global outlier” in the fight against the Omicron wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) because of its anti-restrictions stance, Wales’ first minister has said.
At a Welsh Government press briefing on 7 January, Mark Drakeford once again aimed a blistering attack at Boris Johnson. He said:
In England, we have a Government that is politically paralysed, with a Prime Minister who is unable to secure an agreement through his Cabinet to take the actions that his advisers have been telling him ought to have been taken.
And even if he could get his Cabinet to address them, he can’t get his MPs to agree them.
Asked to justify the continuation of restrictions for another week following the Welsh Government’s weekly review, while neighbouring England remains rule-free, the first minister said:
The outlier here is not Wales. Wales is taking action, as is Scotland, as is Northern Ireland, and as are countries right across Europe, and right across the globe.
The one country that stands out as not taking action to protect its population is England.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
The real question is, why is England such a global outlier, in the way in which governments elsewhere are attempting to protect their populations from coronavirus?
The political contrast between Wales and England is this: here in Wales we have a Government that is capable of acting and determined to act when it is necessary to protect our population.
The rapid COVID-19 surveillance dashboard has been updated:
— Public Health Wales (@PublicHealthW) January 7, 2022
PM who oversaw 130k coronavirus deaths in England gives his expert opinion
Johnson and a number of Conservative MPs mocked Wales’s restrictions during a House of Commons session in Parliament on 6 January. The PM called the measures “baroque eccentricities”, and former business secretary Andrea Leadsom described them as “bonkers”. Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said it was “no more than political posturing”.
Alert level 2 restrictions remain in Wales, including wearing face coverings indoors, groups in public places such as restaurants limited to six people, and working from home if possible.
Indoor events of more than 30 people or outdoor events for more than 50 people are not allowed.
Drakeford said 994 people with coronavirus are being treated in Welsh hospitals – a rise of 43% compared with last week and the highest number since last March – while around 40 are in critical care, the majority of whom are unvaccinated. He said Omicron is putting significant pressure on the NHS, due to rising hospital admissions and staff absences, but denied it is “overwhelmed”.
The latest data from Public Health Wales shows another 38 people have died from coronavirus; however, Drakeford said those are likely to have been from the Delta variant.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?