British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has officially confirmed the patient’s first death from the Omicron strain.
Mr Johnson said conveys Air forcethat everyone needs to realize “the absolute speed with which [Omicron] is spreading among the population, ”and the idea that the new strain is a milder variant should be abandoned. There are already registered omicron hospitalizations and “the best thing people can do” is to get a booster shot.
Sajid Javid, the country’s health minister, told MPs that Omicron now accounts for 1/5 of all coronavirus cases in England.
The prime minister tweeted that 500,000 people had booked a visit for Monday’s booster dose and called it an “incredible feat.” On the first day of the week, the country recorded 54,661 new cases of coronavirus and 38 deaths within 28 days of testing positive. On Monday, the UKHSA confirmed that 10 people were admitted to hospitals with the Omicron variant. According to the agency, they are between 18 and 85 years old and almost all are fully vaccinated against Covid.
There are 4,713 cases of the Omicron variant officially confirmed in the UK, but the Minister of Health said the Health Safety Agency UKHSA has estimated the current number of daily infections at around 200,000. According to Javid, the number of Omicron cases in London has exceeded 44%. In the next 48 hours, it is expected to become the dominant option in the capital.
Mr. Javid says that since the number of hospitalizations and deaths lags behind infections by about 2 weeks, the country “can expect a sharp increase in these rates in the coming days and weeks.” The vaccination program has been expanded: online booking for the booster dose opened Monday for the age group over 30 on Monday, starting Wednesday for young people between 18 and 29 years old. The Minister of Health described the situation as “a race between the virus and the vaccine.”
However, on Monday, the NHS (National Health Service) website collapsed when thousands of people expressed their desire to order a booster dose. New orders have been temporarily suspended. Long lines lined up at vaccination centers.
With booster vaccinations rapidly spreading, the government is introducing new Plan B measures to slow the spread of the Omicron option: mandatory masks, teleworking, Covid passes to enter nightclubs and large institutions. Javid noted that once all adults have a “reasonable chance” to receive a booster shot, the rules will be changed – three shots will indicate full vaccinations and give the right to use the NHS Covid pass.
The data convincingly shows that Omicron is transmitted much faster than previous variants, with the number of cases doubling every two to three days. The UK coronavirus alert has been raised to Level 4 for the first time since May, signifying high or rising transmission rates. The UK Health Safety Agency found that the third dose provided about 70-75% protection against symptomatic infection.