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‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, vaccinate Britain’ urges Portsmouth MP

Responding to the Prime Minister’s address to the nation tonight (4 January 2021) Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP has said the Government’s message to the country should be simple: ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, vaccinate Britain’.

The intervention comes after a series of actions by the city MP to urging Ministers to prioritise the vaccine roll-out in the city, to consider mass testing for the community and urgently secure a vaccine hub for Portsmouth.

The MP also joined a briefing tonight with the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP to make the call for a scaling up of the vaccine programme.

To date the Government has failed to respond to these demands from Portsmouth, but Mr Morgan has vowed to continue to make the case to Ministers.

On the Prime Minister’s statement tonight announcing a third national lockdown, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“We are a critical moment in our city’s fight against coronavirus. The virus is out of control, more and more people are getting infected by the disease and this is putting immense pressure on our local NHS.

With the roll out of the vaccine, and as we slowly start to see all the pieces of the puzzle to tackle coronavirus in place, l will continue to call on Government to respond swiftly and effectively to this crisis.

For now, as a city, we can and we must recapture the spirit of the national lockdown in March.

So the message tonight is simple. Stay at home, protect the NHS, and vaccinate Britain”.

On the vaccine roll out, the MP said:

“As a country we were the first in the world to get the vaccine, we should now aim to be the first in the world to get vaccinated.

Vaccinating Britain has got to be our national mission as it is the only way to get our city out of this crisis and to reopen our local economy.

That means introducing a national lockdown to get the virus under control. It means giving the NHS the capacity and support it needs to treat people with COVID, but also to vaccinate people from COVID.

That’s why I believe we should be vaccinating at the very least two million people a week, with the aim of doubling that figure by February”. 

On his efforts to get clarity from Government on schools closing, the Portsmouth MP added:

“With the Government losing control of the virus and being too slow to act, it was inevitable that schools would close and are now a necessary part of this national lockdown. But Ministers can’t just shut schools without a plan for what happens next. 

The government must now put in place a plan to ensure that all children have access to online learning so no child falls behind. Working parents and staff must be supported, and Portsmouth schools must reopened safely as soon as possible.

I will continue to liaise with parents and school staff over concerns and ensure their views are heard in Parliament”.