Javid Says ‘Plan B’ Not Needed, Confirms Racial Bias Probe
(Bloomberg) -- There’s no need yet for the U.K. to implement “Plan B” to clamp down on Covid infection levels, said Health Minister Sajid Javid.
Separately, Javid confirmed a Times report on Sunday that the U.K. has begun a review into possible racial bias in certain medical equipment.
Javid spoke on Sky News’ “Trevor Philips on Sunday,” one of at least three planned media interviews for the day.
He said expanding the U.K.’s vaccine booster program is the key to a successful Christmas season without new restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government lifted most Covid restrictions in July, and in September announced it had prepared a “Plan B” should Covid cases begin to overwhelm the National Health Service during the winter months.
Under that plan, masks could be made mandatory in crowded spaces, vaccine passports could become compulsory for large events, and people would once again be advised to work from home.
Over 14 million have had a booster across the U.K. so far, and people between the ages of 40 and 49 will be able to book Covid booster shots from Monday.
“Getting your Covid-19 booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and will help to reduce the pressure” on the National Health Service, Javid said in a statement overnight.
U.K. cases have remained high for several months, but overall hospitalizations and ICU occupancy haven’t risen as much.
The Times reported Sunday that Javid has begun a review into possible racial bias in medical equipment, and how it may have slanted treatment for Covid.
The move comes after research earlier this year showing that pulse oximeters, devices that measure oxygen levels in the blood, are less accurate on patients with darker skin.
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