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Work-from-home advice should come BACK to prevent spread of Covid as Britons with double stabs are infected with Omicron, SAGE warns

Government advisers have warned that working from home should return to prevent the spread of Omicron.

Documents from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) say the highly evolved strain could cause a new wave of cases – and it could be even larger than previous waves.

Government advisers have recommended reintroducing work-at-home instruction for Britons

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Government advisers have recommended reintroducing work-at-home instruction for Britons

75 other cases of Omicron has been confirmed in the UK, bringing the total for the UK to 104 and for the UK as a whole to 134 – including the first confirmed case in Wales.

And more than half of the cases of Omicron Health officials have revealed in the UK that one of a number of Britons has been given the double vaccine.

SAGE and the Nervtag subgroup have called for the introduction of vaccine passports and guide to work from home to limit the spread of variation.

According to a note released by a government advisory group last night, the scientists concluded that this variant could cause a new wave of infections.

“We cannot rule out that this wave will be of the same magnitude, or even greater, than previous waves,” they said.

“It’s important to prepare for a very significant potential wave of infections with associated hospitalizations now, before data becomes available.”

They added: “A large wave of infections will be accompanied by a wave of severe cases and it cannot be ruled out that this could be enough to overwhelm the NHS’s capacity.”

SAGE said teleworking and the return to face coverings in all indoor public settings remains a “highly relevant” way to combat the spread of this variant.

Working from home is part of the government “Plan B” – including vaccine passports.

Both have not been made to control virus, but masks became mandatory from Tuesday in response to Omicron.

Government advisers warned the situation “could develop rapidly in the coming weeks” and said ministers “may need to act while a high degree of uncertainty remains”.

People have been asked to work from home if possible in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But Boris Johnson has rejected offers to reintroduce the rules in the UK – an event that ended on Freedom Day earlier this year after Britons worked from home for months.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the government’s Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization, has recommended Britons return to work from home.

“As many people can work from home now, the better, until we have a clearer picture of what’s to come,” Prof Finn told The Guardian.

‘WE NEED TIME TO PURCHASE’

The University of Bristol expert added: “We need to buy time. If in three weeks it’s dead that’s fine, we can all relax, but now is the time when you can prevent a b big wave”.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, from the Winton Center for Risk and Evidence Communications, University of Cambridge, said the measure could still be used in the UK – although ministers have not alluded to it.

He said there are “major uncertainties” around the super strain Omicron, which is expected to spread faster and escape the protection of a better vaccine.

He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “The standard thing to do when you’re faced with uncertainties that are actually quite profound is to exercise caution. The precautionary principle is sensible.”

Also recommend working from home, Professor Susan Michie, member of SAGE, told me: “If you wait until we’re sure you’ve lost it. You need to act quickly, you need to act quickly, need to act hard and you need to act before you really need to act.”

But on Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said employers decide on the “right balance” for them, when employees work from home or in the office.

SAGE said there is currently insufficient data to draw any conclusions about disease severity associated with the new variant.

However, the minutes of the meeting held on Monday said it was very possible that Omicron could escape immunity to some extent – but it is still unclear how much.

“Even with continued good protection against serious illness in individuals from vaccinations (including boosters), any significant reduction in the incidence of disease,” the scientists warn. Protection against infection can still lead to a huge wave of infections.

“This would lead to potentially high numbers of hospitalizations even if protection against severe illness would be less affected.

“The size of this wave remains uncertain but could be of a scale that would require very stringent response measures to avoid unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

“If the effectiveness of the vaccine is significantly reduced, then there will be a serious epidemic.”

It comes after the UK Health Security Agency’s risk assessment rated Omicron as “red” for infection severity and “amber” for transmissibility.

But it still says “insufficient data” to draw any firm conclusions, and the review is presented with “low confidence”.

SPREAD IN THE COMMUNITY

Government advisers have warned Covid can ruin Christmas celebrated for the “next five years” until it subsided into endemic status.

But Mr. Johnson said Christmas party should go on to continue – following comments from leading expert Dr Jenny Harries that Britons should start severing their social ties.

In government reports, experts say caution is needed during festive gatherings and the R rate could reach 1.4 by the end of December.

There is already evidence Omicron is spreading in the community, as opposed to only being seen in travelers returning from South African countries or their contacts.

The Scottish government says the tenth case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus identified in Scotland has no direct link to nine previous cases linked to an event.

On Friday, UK Health Security Agency cases were detected in the East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands.

The government has extended its boost campaign to 18-39 years old to stop the Omicron infection and protect Britons as much as possible.

Britons aged 40 and over or those with serious health conditions can order the vaccine through the national booking service, while those aged 18 and over will have to wait for the NHS to call them to get the shot.

Daily Covid cases in the UK are highest since July with 53,945 new infections and 141 deaths as the mutant variant Omicron spreads

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16937450/work-from-home-advice-return-omicron-sage/ Work-from-home advice should come BACK to prevent spread of Covid as Britons with double stabs are infected with Omicron, SAGE warns

Huynh Nguyen

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