A health minister appears to be a bit confused about the number of people hospitalised with the omicron variant just days after Dominic Raab had a similar mare.
Asked by Sky’s Kay Burley about hospitalisations and deaths associated with the variant, care and mental health minister Gillian Keegan appeared to mix up omicron and Covid more generally and made a number of fumbling remarks. She said:
“There’s 774… oh sorry that’s total hospitalisations in the last seven days.
“With omicron there’s 10 cases with omicron, maybe going up to 11 actually, that wasn’t confirmed yet but probably gone up to 11,” she said.
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Then, asked about deaths she said: “The deaths were a hundred and oh I don’t have the actual figure…oh omicron! Sorry Kay! We’ve had one death with omicron so far.”
She added: “I don’t think there’s anybody that I’m aware of [with omicron] on a ventilator.
Awkward. It comes just days after deputy PM and justice secretary Raab had an embarrassing media round of his own when he twice provided the wrong figures about the number of people hospitalised with omicron.
He provided three different figures to three different shows, first claiming it was 250, then 9, before landing at the correct figure, 10.
Elsewhere in the interview, Keegan suggest that people should exercise caution in the next few days if they want to spend Christmas with their families.
“If you’re going to go to a party – take a test – if there’s lots of people there you don’t know – if that’s your priority, fine,” she said.
“If your priority is to make it through to Christmas Day with your family, take a different approach.”
She said the government didn’t intend to enforce any more restrictions but didn’t rule them out either.
PM and justice secretary provided three different figures to three different shows
Dominic Raab has been criticised after he twice provided the wrong figures about the number of people hospitalised with omicron.
On a more plonkery broadcast round than usual, the deputy PM and justice secretary provided three different figures to three different shows, first claiming it was 250, then 9, before landing at the correct figure, 10 – and it’s not like it is something that is important for the public to know…
First, speaking on Sky News, he said 250 people has been hospitalised due to the variant, despite Sajid Javid putting the figure at 10 last night.
“Last I saw it was in the low hundreds, 250 the last time I looked, but of course the data is being updated all the time,” he said.