Swine flu cases in Britain could top 100,000 a day
The UK has moved past the stage of containing the swine flu outbreak and into the “treatment phase”, he said.
“The national focus will be on treating the increasing numbers affected by swine flu. We will move to this treatment phase across the UK with immediate effect.”
There are now 7,447 laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK, he said.
London and the West Midlands have already had sufficiently high numbers to move towards a policy of outbreak management, which saw people with swine flu clinically diagnosed rather than being confirmed by laboratory reports.
Mr Burnham said that last week saw a “considerable rise” in swine flu cases.
“There are now on average several hundred new cases every day,” he said.
“Our efforts during the containment phase have given us precious time to learn more about the virus. We have always known it would be impossible to contain the virus indefinitely and at some point we would need to move away from containment to treatment.”
He added: “We have now signed contracts to secure enough vaccine for the whole population.”
The first will become available next month, with 60 million doses available by the end of the year.