At least one coronavirus patient infected with the Omicron variant is now dead, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed.
It comes as the new strain of virus spreads rapidly across the UK – despite new restrictions aimed at reducing its impact.
Scientists have suggested that Omicron could be a milder version of Covid-19 – but the news should raise worries that the more infectious variant could also cause serious illness and death more.
Speaking during a visit to a vaccination clinic near Paddington in west London, the Prime Minister said: ‘Sadly, yes, Omicron is hospitalized and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to be. died with Omicron.
‘So I think the idea that this is somehow a lighter version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to put on one side and just realize the sheer speed it’s ramping up in population. So the best we can do is get our boosters. ‘
The vaccine status of the deceased is not known.
There are concerns that Omicron is more likely to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, but scientists believe a third stab will provide significant protection.
Because of the disparity between infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death, to date there are limited data on the severity of Omicron symptoms.
But early signs from South Africa suggest it may be milder than other strains, like Delta, although scientists are now increasingly believing it is much more infectious.
It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government would ‘throw everything into’ the Covid boost program to deal with Omicron.
GPs will focus only on urgent needs and vaccinations over the next few weeks.
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/13/covid-uk-first-omicron-death-confirmed-by-boris-johnson-15762750/?ITO=metro-trending Covid: Boris Johnson confirms at least one death with variant Omicron