Delhi hospitals running out of oxygen and ICU beds
BBC India correspondent
More than 99% of all intensive care beds are full in India’s
capital Delhi as the country battles its second wave of Covid-19.
Just seven beds with ventilator facilities are
There is also a severe oxygen crisis in the city as well with just a few hours of supplies left in some hospitals, according to the government.
Delhi is known to have among the best healthcare
facilities in India, but it has been brought to its knees by the pandemic.
People are going from hospital to hospital, desperately searching for any help
for their loved ones. Many have died because they couldn’t get the treatment
they need. Their families are having to wait for hours to perform funeral
rituals as crematoriums and graveyards are running out of manpower and space.
In smaller towns the situation is even worse. A sharp surge
in cases and deaths is being reported from many parts of India. Some areas are
now in lockdown.
Who decided to put India on the travel ban list?
Boris Johnson was asked about
decisions about which countries should go on the “red list” of countries
subject to the strictest UK travel rules.
said the list was kept under constant review “and
this work is done actually not by the government itself, it is done by the
Joint Biosecurity Centre, the JBC, they look at the issue and will make their
determination based on what they think we need to do”.
Asked about yesterday’s decision to put India on the red list
he said that decision “was taken by the JBC”.
The government has previously been clear that decisions on
travel restrictions are made by ministers based on advice from the JBC and
Indeed, when Reality Check asked yesterday about why it had
taken so long to put India on the red list, the Department of Health said
decisions were taken by ministers informed by evidence from the JBC and others.
The UK is launching a search for new antiviral medicines to treat Covid, which might mean a tablet or capsule taken at home, available as soon as the autumn
There has been nothing to suggest the UK needs to “deviate” from the roadmap out of lockdown, Boris Johnson said
But the majority of scientific experts believe the UK will face another wave of Covid and we must learn to live with the virus, the PM said
One in five adults has now received both doses of the vaccine.
Uptake by ethnic minorities has tripled, compared with the national average
The red list of severe travel restrictions is “under constant review”, Boris Johnson said
So-called Covid passports will not be required for any of the relaxed restrictions expected on 17 May, the prime minister said, but they may help to safely open up some other areas of society
Analysis: Unsurprising Johnson was asked about European Super League
BBC political correspondent
Given the scale of reaction so far, it’s hardly surprising that the PM was asked about football and his hopes to stop the establishment of a European Super League.
Boris Johnson’s description of the ESL as a “kind of cartel” was far from diplomatic, and reinforces his opposition to the plans involving six Premier League clubs.
By taking such a strong stance, the PM will be aware that the ESL going ahead in its current form could end up being regarded as a political failure.
Antivirals scheme an aspiration not a guarantee
The decision to set up an antiviral taskforce reflects the
desire to make progress in finding treatments people can take at home if they
have tested positive or been exposed to someone who has.
Through the Recovery trial run in hospitals, the UK has been
at the forefront of developing treatments for people who are already severely
But this focus is aimed at identifying medicines that could
help prevent people getting ill.
There are thought to be a number of treatments that are
being looked at that work by stopping the virus replicating and making someone
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged, there will be
a future wave of infection even though the scale of it will be limited by the
rollout of the vaccines.
When it comes, the hope is the antivirals will offer another
tool with which to fight it.
It is all part, the PM says, of learning to live with the
But at the moment this is just an aspiration rather than a
guarantee of something.
'Gaping holes at the border' even with travel red list - Labour
Responding to the government briefing, Labour's shadow health minister Alex Norris says the prime minister had been "missing the point" in his response to questions about the red list.
He tells the BBC that the list of countries where people need to quarantine in hotels is "far too narrowly drawn".
Only 1% of the 20,000 people arriving daily have to do hotel quarantine, Norris says.
"The prime minister has said the majority of scientists believe there will be another wave of Covid," he says. "We still have gaping holes at the border and our defences, as a result, are weakened."
He says Labour wants to see a presumption that all travellers will quarantine in hotels unless there is a good reason not to - such as for hauliers or countries will extremely low levels of the virus.
Will there still be a third runway at Heathrow?
The Huffington Post's Paul Waugh says the UK has set out a new legally binding target to cut carbon emissions, and he asks if this means there won't be a third runway at Heathrow.
On Greensill lobbying, he asks if rules politicians are supposed to follow "have any teeth or relevance anymore". He asks if he agrees with the Independent Office for Police Conduct that reviewed Boris Johnson's links with Jennifer Arcuri, and concluded that Johnson should have declared being in a relationship with Arcuri. He asks if the PM thinks he acted with "honesty and integrity" during the affair.
On carbon emissions, Johnson says it's a matter for Heathrow to deal with, "it's a private matter and they've got to finance it... my own views about that particular matter are well known". He says the UK can pioneer low carbon aviation. He says he wants to get to a "jet zero world" and the government is working with those in the industry to try and tackle the problem.
Humanity will need to fly, and it will need to fly in a "clean, green way" he adds.
On the second question, he says "yes".
With that, he closes the press conference.
PM 'confident' in vaccine supply despite Johnson and Johnson issues
The Guardian's Jessica Elgot asks if the verdict of the European Medicines' Agency that there is a "possible link" between the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and rare blood clots might delay the UK vaccine programme - particularly for younger people?
But the prime minister says: "We’re confident in the security of our supply and we will be able to get done what we’ve said we will do by the end of July."
Kanani says this vaccine is not in use in the UK at the moment and hasn't yet been approved.
Johnson is also asked for his view on fan ownership of football clubs, as in Germany, given the Super League news.
He says it's a matter for sports minister Tracey Crouch, who is conducting a review of football governance. He says "she’s very interested in those models".
Can people book summer holidays abroad?
Harry Cole from the Sun asks what the odds are of people being able to take part in summer holidays abroad. He also asks what the government plans to do if the European Super League goes ahead.
Boris Johnson says he cannot yet give information on which countries will be allowed and which won't be. He says he cannot speculate on what will be announced for holidays on 17 May.
He says he "doesn't want to say very much more" about what the government could do against football clubs. He says that one of his MPs is doing a "full fan-based review" of the sport.
He says his priorities are to back the Football Association and the Premier League.
Will the UK be adopting Covid passports?
Andy Bell from Channel 5 asks if Covid passports will be part of learning to live with the virus, with Michael Gove visiting Israel today to learn about the system in use there.
Boris Johnson says a "Covid status certification" is being considered for the UK to help "open up those things that proved very tough to open last year".
But he says they won't just record vaccine status, but will also show whether people have been recently tested or have natural immunity after being infected.
"People certainly don’t need to think about it before 17 May," he says, however.
He is also asked to say a few words to the billionaire football club owners considering a European Super League and says our football clubs are "one of the great glories of our country's heritage".
He says he doesn't think it is right they should be turned into "international brands and commodities" without any reference to the fans.
European Super League plans not in fans' interests
It's been the biggest story of the last few days, so it is not surprising that the the PM is also being asked about the plans for six English football clubs to be part of a European Super League.
Boris Johnson reiterates the government opposes the move and says ministers' first step has been to back the football authorities in England - the FA and Premier League - in rejecting the plans.
He says the ESL is "not in the interests of fans, not in the interests of football".
"How it can be right to have a situation in which you create a kind of cartel," the PM said, adding it is "offends against the basic principles of competition".
If necessary, he adds, the UK will seek a "legislative solution" but he hopes the football authorities can find a way forward themselves.
Antiviral treatments 'more shots in the locker'
The prime minister has denied that the UK's new antivirals taskforce that is aiming to help identify new medicines for the treatment of Covid is a "hugely ambitious" project.
Responding to a question from ITV's Emily Morgan, Boris Johnson described it as a further "shots in our locker" following British scientists' discovery that existing drugs such as dexamethasone could be effective against Covid.
Nikita Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, told the Downing Street briefing the project was an important way of helping to manage a rise in new infections and variants.
She said the NHS has been working with international partners and a number of treatments were already being tested.
New taskforce a reminder of concerns over variants
BBC political correspondent
the establishment of an anti-virals taskforce the government will be hoping to
repeat the success of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, which is widely credited for
the scale and success of the vaccination rollout so far.
the very fact such a taskforce is being created serves as a reminder that
concerns remain over the potential for new vaccine-resistant variants and the
need to find other ways to protect people so that society can continue its path
back to normality.
Why has it taken so long to get India on the travel red list?
The BBC's Vicki Young asks why it's taken so long to put India on the travel red list following the Indian variant that has emerged in the country. She also asks if Boris Johnson is prepared to make the "difficult and unpopular" decisions to meet new carbon targets unveiled by government.
Johnson says the Indian variant is still "under investigation". He says banning travel to the country is on a "purely precautionary basis" but there were already measures for people coming from India which were "very tough indeed".
There are slightly over 100 Indian variant cases in the UK, he says, and those people are having their contacts traced. There's also surge testing taking place in their local areas.
On climate change, he says that since 1990 the UK has cut emissions by "something like 42, 44%, and yet the economy has grown by 73%," he states he doesn't see "any contradiction" between green investment and jobs.
He says he wants to see more "high wage, high skill jobs".