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Sajid Javid warns of 13-million strong NHS waiting list

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Newly-appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid is overly-keen to fully remove all pandemic-related measures as soon as possible

In the latest government bid to justify the full lifting of Covid-19 restrictions later this  month, Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has warned that failing to lift measures could see National Health Service (NHS) waiting lists to expand exponentially.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Javid warned that the number of patients on NHS waiting lists could “soar to 13 million” over the coming months as a result of “Covid-19 and successive lockdowns”.    

Javid, who was only appointed health secretary late last month, told The Sunday Telegraph: “What shocked me the most is when I was told that the waiting list in going to get a lot worse before it gets better”.

“It’s gone up from 3.5 million to 5.3 million as of today, and I said to the officials so what do you mean ‘a lot worse’, thinking maybe it goes from 5.3 million to six million, seven million. They said no, it’s going to go up by millions… it could go as high as 13 million”, Javid added.

The newly-appointed Health Secretary’s latest defense of plans to fully lift restrictions on July 19 comes on the heels of leading medical professional bodies’ expression of alarm at the early complete lifting of pandemic-related measures.

On Saturday (July 10), the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges warned against the scraping of restriction by asserting the pandemic is set to “get worse before it gets better”.  

Earlier in the month, the British Medical Association urged the government to think again before removing all pandemic-related restrictions on July 19.

In the latest sign of opposition to imminent government action, Greater Manchester mayor, Any Burnham, said the government’s much-vaunted freedom day (July 19) is more like “anxiety day”.

Burnham told The Observer newspaper that he will be “strongly encouraging” the people of Greater Manchester to continue to “wear masks on public transport out of respect for others”.   

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