Almost 250 new cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 were identified in the UK on Thursday – almost double yesterday’s daily total.
It brings the official number in the UK to 817 – although the real number could be significantly higher.
As of Wednesday, 131 cases of the new strain of the virus had been identified – but that number jumped 90% to 249 cases a day later.
It comes amid growing concern about the variant, with experts believing it to be much more infectious and concerned that it may also be more resistant to vaccines. Scientists are aggressively gathering more data to understand more about this strain.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said 248 new cases were in England, just one in Scotland and none in Northern Ireland or Wales.
The agency says the UK total is now 696, Scotland 109, Wales 9 and Northern Ireland 3.
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But the time it takes to identify positive cases means there is a delay in identifying Omicron cases and yesterday the Health Secretary said the real number could be many times higher than the human figure. current official number.
Sajid Javid warns that it may in fact be as high as 10,000 – and maybe a million after Christmas.
The new line’s doubling rate is said to be between two and three days, which means it’s likely to overtake Delta to become the dominant stream.
A leading scientist said earlier on Wednesday that the new strain of bacteria appears to cause ‘mild’ cold-like symptoms – but warned that higher transmission rates could have consequences. ‘devastating’ for the NHS regardless.
According to Zoe Covid Research incidence figures, there are now an average of 83,658 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in the UK, based on test data from the previous five days.
That represents a small increase of 4% from the previous week.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and lead scientist on the Zoe study, said: ‘Initial signs suggest it is breaking out in vaccinated people, but it does. cause milder cold-like symptoms.
‘However, this is no reason to be comfortable about Omicron.
‘Covid is unpredictable and, even if most just feel like they have a cold, there are more long-term risks than a cold.’
He added: ‘If numbers spike, it doesn’t matter if hospitalization or death rates remain low – it’s about volumes, not percentages.
‘Higher rates of transmission even with vaccination can have dire consequences, and hundreds continue to die each week as we enter the second Christmas of this pandemic.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/09/covid-uk-omicron-variant-cases-jump-by-nearly-250-15745221/?ITO=metro-trending Covid: UK Omicron variant cases increase by 90% in just one day