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Britain battles Omicron’s ‘tide wave’, as infections double every two to three days

By Rob Piceta, CNN

Britain is facing a ‘tide wave’ of new infections Coronavirus variant Omicron, ministers have warned, as they sound the alarm about rapid transmission speeds in London and across the country.

The UK raised its Covid-19 alert level on Sunday and is once again speeding up the deployment of boosters in a bid to respond to a new wave of cases.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned on Monday that the data on Omicron infections was not the same as data for earlier variants.

“It’s spreading at an extraordinary rate, which we’ve never seen before – the infection rate doubles every two to three days,” Javid told Sky News on Monday. News. He added that it is too early to know if the cases of the new variant will be milder.

“It means we are facing a tidal wave of infection, we are once again in a race between a vaccine and a virus,” he added, repeating language given by the Prime Minister. Boris Johnson used in a televised speech on Sunday night.

Johnson confirmed the first UK death of someone with this variant on Monday. He told reporters at a vaccination clinic: “I think the idea that this is a milder version of the virus, I think it’s something that we need to put on one side and just realize the speed. the absolute rate at which it increases in the population.”

On Sunday, the Prime Minister set a new target of giving all adults a third shot by the end of December – a month earlier than originally planned. He had previously cut the interval between the second and third doses from six months to three. The UK government has focused its Covid response around its vaccine program since last summer and has resisted reimposing restrictions until the Omicron variant came to light.

“I’m afraid it’s now clear that two doses of the vaccine simply aren’t enough to provide the level of protection we all need,” Johnson said, citing early data showing the regimen’s effectiveness. two doses are descending by new variation, but that booster still provides a good level of protection.

“There’s no doubt about it: There’s a tidal wave of Omicron coming,” Johnson said. “But the good news is that our scientists are confident that with the third dose – the booster dose – we can all recover our level of protection.”

The UK has so far reported 3,137 cases of the Omicron variant, although the true number may be higher. Javid said “about 10 people” are in hospital with the new variant. Overall, the country’s seven-day average of Covid-19 cases has passed 50,000 cases a day.

Omicron is probably behind around 40% of infections in London, Javid said on Monday. But Johnson said that “tomorrow that will be the majority of cases”, highlighting how quickly the new strain of bacteria spread in the first weeks of its appearance in the UK.

New guidance asking people to work from home goes into effect on Monday. The UK has also reinstated mask-wearing for shops and public transport, and now requires proof of vaccination or a negative test for those attending major events. .

The recent outbreak of new restrictions marks a major turnaround from the past few months, in which Johnson resisted Europe’s move towards longer-term mitigation measures like vaccine passports and face masks.

However, the Prime Minister is facing significant opposition from supporters of his own Conservative party over his move to reintroduce Covid rules, relying on the support of the opposition Labor Party. to pass them into law.

Johnson was also embroiled in a scandal over reports that Downing Street hosts several employee parties last winter when the rest of the UK was living under strict rules prohibiting socialization. He has been forced to reject his fast-track Covid rules to distract from his political woes.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Robert Iddiols contributed reporting.

https://kesq.com/news/2021/12/13/britain-battles-omicron-tidal-wave-as-infections-double-every-two-to-three-days-2/ Britain battles Omicron’s ‘tide wave’, as infections double every two to three days

DUSTIN JONES

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