The number of people with Omicron in UK hospitals according to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has been revised down from 250 to ten, with government officials claiming the minister had “misspoke” in earlier interviews.
The UK’s deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, has revised the number of people in hospital with the Omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus from 250 to ten, over three interviews given on Tuesday morning.
Raab had initially told Sky News that the number of people in UK hospitals with the variant was 250 the “last time [he] looked”.
However, Raab later told BBC Breakfast that only nine people in hospitals were suffering from the disease.
“I think we have one death,” Raab said regarding Omicron in the UK. “I think we’ve got nine people who are in hospital with it.”
When Raab was confronted on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on the fact that he had given two different numbers regarding cases of Omicron in hospitals during two different interviews, he proceeded to revise this number again for a third time to ten people.
‘You’ve done two interviews this morning, you were asked a simple question, how many people are in hospital? You told Sky News 250 people and you told BBC Breakfast 9.’
Dominic Raab clarifies 10 people are in hospital with Omicron, after getting the numbers wrong. pic.twitter.com/MYccrkXIsN
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) December 14, 2021
This was much to the annoyance of one of Good Morning Britain‘s hosts, with Adil Ray saying to Raab: “So you’ve given three different numbers on three different national news shows to the population!”
After accusing Ray of liking to “rant” at politicians, Raab claimed that he misheard the initial question asked on Sky News, thinking that he was being asked to provide the number of cases “generally”.
Sky News has also reported that officials are claiming that he “misspoke” during both the BBC and Sky News interviews and that there are, in fact, ten cases of Omicron in UK hospitals.
Veiled Threat? Boris Tells Public to Get Booster Jab to Save ‘Freedoms and Way of Life’ https://t.co/lH0sa1gTSH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 12, 2021
While the deputy prime minister has been struggling to pin down the number of Omicron cases in UK hospitals, those who fear they have Covid in the UK are struggling to get tested.
According to the BBC, there are no longer PCR tests available at any Covid testing site in England, though home tests are still available.
Meanwhile, the NHS website for England states that there are “no rapid lateral flow tests available to order” for home use.
This is despite the fact that it is now a requirement for vaccinated close contacts of Covid cases to take the tests daily for a period of seven days.
Despite the lack of availability online, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assured the public that there is no shortage.
“They can get those tests, we do have a ready supply of lateral flow tests,” Johnson said. “If you can’t get one online for any reason, then there are ample supplies in the shops.”