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Omicron Covid: UK to see ‘staggering number of cases’ in coming days

In most areas of the UK, doubling rates are now under two days (Image: North News & Pictures Ltd north)

A leading expert has predicted the UK will see ‘staggering’ Omicron Covid case numbers over the next few days.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Service, said doubling rates are now under two days in most areas.

Meanwhile, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has warned there is a chance the NHS could be overwhelmed next month.

Professor Graham Medley, a member of Sage, said this morning the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations could reach 2,000 a day.

Addressing the Commons Transport Selection Committee, Dr Harries said the new variant is ‘probably the most significant threat we’ve faced since the beginning of the pandemic’.

She said: ‘I’m sure, for example, that the numbers we’re seeing on the data over the next few days will be quite staggering compared to the growth we’ve seen in the cases for the variants. before.

‘The real potential risk here – and I stress that because we’re still learning so much about the variant – has to do with its severity, its clinical severity and therefore whether these cases turn into serious illness, hospitalization, and death.

‘We are still too early for that, in fact the world is probably still too early for that to be clear.

‘The difficulty is with the development of this virus, it has a short doubling time – ie it doubles faster, it grows faster.

People queue outside Manchester City Hall to get into the vaccination center (Image: Getty Images)

‘In most parts of the UK, the time is under two days. When it started, we estimated about four or five.

‘So if you think about that growth rate right across the UK, and we’re starting to see it and feel it right now, particularly in London, but yesterday especially around Manchester, and we’re pretty sure there’s growth across most UK communities today, although there’s still quite a bit of regional variation. ‘

It comes as more Plan B measures are introduced today, with those in the UK now required to show Covid card to enter nightclubs, sports matches and other major events.

Experts have warned further measures may be needed to limit Omicron, with the Government rumored to have Secret ‘Plan D’ will close pubs and restaurants.

Talk to On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Professor Medley said he was worried ‘we could see an increasing number of people being hospitalized’ if infections continued to rise and spread to older age groups.

He said: ‘Most infections now are in young people, so these are the people who are least likely to require hospital treatment under any circumstances.

But in the past, in previous waves, we’ve seen that move to older and more vulnerable generations, and there’s no reason to doubt it won’t happen this time around. ‘

The number of cases is likely to surpass the number at the height of the pandemic in January, although it “It is very difficult to predict in real time exactly what is happening on any given day,” he added.

But his comments came when the South African family doctor who discovered Omicron said Boris Johnson‘s response ‘verges on hysteria’.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, head of the South African Medical Association, believes that the new variant, while more contagious, offers ‘very, very mild symptoms’ making it ‘much less dangerous than other diseases’ previous strains.

Contact our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/15/omicron-covid-uk-to-see-staggering-case-numbers-over-coming-days-15774069/?ITO=metro-trending Omicron Covid: UK to see 'staggering number of cases' in coming days

Emma Bowman

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