A PROMINENT Conservative MP has called for schools and borders to be closed "immediately" and a ban on household mixing to try and contain the spread of Covid-19.

Jeremy Hunt, who served as Health Secretary for four years and is currently chair of the Health Select Committee, said this winter in the NHS has been "off-the-scale worse" than any winter he oversaw as Health Secterary.

He has called for immediate action to be taken to try and contain the third wave of Covid-19, which is spreading exponentially across England and Wales with soaring infection rates, death rates and hospitals under major pressure.

Mr Hunt, who was Health Secretary from 2015 to 2019 and lost the Conservative leadership election in 2019 to Boris Johnson, said: "Time to act: thread on why we need to close schools, borders, and ban all household mixing RIGHT AWAY.

“To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Secretary and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.

“It’s true that we often had to cancel elective care in January to protect emergency care but that too is under severe pressure with record trolley waits for the very sickest patients.

“Even more worryingly fewer heart attack patients appear to be presenting in intensive care units, perhaps because they are not dialling 999 when they need to.

“Full credit to NHS for keeping cancer services open but in Wave 1 there was still a two-thirds drop in cancer appointments: people didn’t come forward to GPs or want to go to hospitals, with many potentially avoidable cancer deaths. We hoped to avoid that this time but now looking unlikely.”

There is increasing pressure on the Government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take immediate action to try and get Covid-19 under control, including calls from Labour for a third lockdown similar to what happened in March 2019 when schools were also closed as part of the lockdown.