State of Health
UK: New Omicron cases nearly doubled in one day

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 09 Dec 2021, 08:45 pm Print

UK: New Omicron cases nearly doubled in one day Omicron

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London/UNI/Xinhua: A further 249 cases of the Omicron COVID variant have been reported in Britain, taking the total to 817, British health authorities said Thursday.

The latest daily figure comes after 131 new cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed on Wednesday.

At a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday evening, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the variant's doubling rate could be between two to three days, highlighting just how infectious the new strain is.

The rise in cases of the variant showed it is spreading even faster than Johnson had predicted on Wednesday, while Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Britain could have around 1 million infections of the strain in the community by the end of the year.

Britain registered 50,867 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,660,981, according to official figures released Thursday.

The country also reported a further 148 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 146,135, with 7,347 COVID-19 patients still in hospital.

The vast majority of these infections are likely to be the Delta variant, although the number of Omicron cases is rising.

Johnson has announced that Britain will move to "Plan B" restrictions to combat the rapid spread of the Omicron variant this winter.

The British prime minister has asked people to work from home when possible from Monday while announcing that face masks would be a legal requirement in "most public indoor" areas such as theaters and cinemas from Friday.

Proof of two vaccine doses or a negative COVID-19 test will be necessary for those wanting to enter nightclubs and large venues from next week, Johnson said, adding that people who are contacts of Omicron cases could face daily testing instead of undergoing a period of isolation.

However, Johnson said the new measures were "not a lockdown" and people "should not" cancel Christmas parties or nativity plays, and nightclubs will remain open.

More than 89 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 81 percent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 37 percent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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