UK Parliament Warned of Mass Staff Absences and Major Shortages as COVID Cases Rise

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty told the Parliament to expect mass staff absences and major shortages across industries due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

According to cabinet sources, Johnson and Whitty said at a briefing that rising cases would be likely to affect businesses with mass worker absences. 

Whitty also told ministers to expect a “significant increase” in hospital admissions.

On Tuesday, the leader of Britain’s A&E doctors said that Omicron could lead to high numbers of hospital staff having to take time off just as the NHS was grappling with winter pressures.

“The biggest challenge to staff at the moment is going to be the numbers going off sick,” President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Dr. Katherine Henderson said

“I was on a shift yesterday, and during my day shift, four doctors went off Covid-positive,” Henderson added.

The Guardian reported that about 100 Tube drivers are on Covid-related absences – ScotRail and West Midlands said there had been an increase in Covid cases among its train crews, while ScotRail canceled services because of an outbreak among staff.

The Department for Education also reported that the number of teachers taking sick leaves because of COVID-19 has increased.

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