COVID-19: UK Omicron Cases Reach 246 After 86 New Infections Reported, Latest Figures Show

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COVID-19: 75 More Omicron Cases Found In England – As UKHSA Releases Risk Assessment


Another 86 cases of the new Omicron COVID variant have been reported in the UK, bringing the total to 246.

This compares to a total of 160 yesterday – an increase of over 50%.

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), which publishes the figures, says 18 of the cases are in Scotland, bringing its total to 48.

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The numbers come as an expert told Sky News on UK could face ‘tougher measures’ after Christmas to counter the spread of the new variant.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said that the emergence of Omicron in the UK was “appalling timing” as the next few weeks are “one of the most risky times … with a lot of socializing inside”.

He said the government “would like not to disrupt Christmas”, but warned: “What happens after Christmas is another matter”.

Although the UK is still awaiting actual data on the new variant, Professor Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge, said he currently does not appear to be at as much of a serious disease risk.

And he also praised the booster vaccines for “saving so many lives.”

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Jab booster rollout has been extended to tackle Omicron

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab also told Sky News that “the government wants people to enjoy Christmas this year,” adding that employers should take a “common sense” approach to office parties.

The government has already reintroduced several measures to tackle Omicron, including mandatory masks in shops and on public transport, and compulsory pre-departure test for all UK arrivals.

The return of the pre-departure tests came after UKHSA analysis suggested that Omicron might reduce the window between infection and infectivity compared to previous strains.

There are warnings the NHS will be in a “very, very difficult position” if the Omicron variant were to lead to an increase in hospitalizations.

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Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Katherine Henderson said hospitals were already struggling to cope with the onset of winter.

“It’s pretty spectacularly bad now, it’s going to get worse – and if the new variant becomes a thing in terms of numbers and results in hospital admissions, we’re going to be in a very, very difficult position,” a- she declared.

“We will always be there. We always want patients to come, but we have to help people understand that right now the service is so extensive that the extra effort could be very, very difficult. ”

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