RECORD 1 in 15 people have had Covid on the eve of the new year – but experts say there are signs that the tides of Omicron are turning.
Weekly infections hit 3.7 million – with the total jumping from 2.3 million in the previous seven days.
And, with the number of NHS trust banks claiming critical incidents skyrocketing to 24 overnight, that means one in eight hospitals in the UK is on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.
However, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that Omicron The outbreak may have finally slowed down in the capital.
That is despite one in ten Londoners making this mistake last week.
Dr Mike Tildesley of the University of Warwick, a member of the Scientific Influenza Modeling team, said: “We get a very, very high number of cases but there is early evidence that shows everything. could be turning around in London.”
Professor Kevin McConway, a statistician at the Open University, said: “The picture is quite bleak but the slowdown in growth in London is encouraging, given that infections are rising fastest there.”
And in another sign of hope, the number of seriously ill Britons requiring ventilators in intensive care fell yesterday.
There were 769 Covid-19 victims receiving assisted breathing in the UK on Wednesday, down from 797 a day earlier.
Sarah Crofts, from the ONS, said: “There are early signs of a possible slowdown but we continue to see increased infections, with Omicron now the dominant variant across all four countries. ”
Relieved MPs have heaped praise on Boris Johnson for “standing firmly” in the face of the lockdown.
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Prime Minister says he does not believe the country needs to be further restricted – but he admits the NHS will be under great stress again.
Mr Johnson, speaking in front of the Commons for the first time this year, said: “I know some might question whether we should go any further and move towards total closure but the Free door lock. They take a serious toll on our physical and mental health, on our businesses, jobs and livelihoods – and worst of all, on our children’s chances of life.
“So this Government doesn’t believe we need to shut down our country again. We simply cannot continue by endless approaches to the door lock. “
Former Prime Minister Theresa May, his arch rival, was the first to hail Mr Johnson.
She said “I can commend you for resisting calls from Labor for more restrictions before Christmas. Closing sectors of our economy every time we see a variation is not in the national interest.”
‘CREDIT FOR BIRTH’
Virus rebel Steve Brine also praised him, saying: “The Prime Minister deserves real credit for the Covid decisions – he’s been following the evidence and taking a broader view of society and the background our economy.”
Mr Johnson suggests NHS and social care workers will be awarded a fourth time as the booster’s effect may be waning.
He hopes the UK can follow the US and quarantine for seven to five days if scientists can show there is a low risk of infection.
The ONS detected 1 in 10 young adults infected in the week to 31 December, with 9 out of ten being Omicrons.
Another 194,747 infections were confirmed yesterday, down from Tuesday but the second-highest number so far. There have been 334 more deaths, with figures still affected by the bank holiday.
NHS data shows the total number of Covid patients in the UK is now 15,659 – a 50% increase in a week.
At least eight percent of employees took sick leave at the end of the year due to the virus, with the number expected to increase as children return to school.
But Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said he hopes that by January 26 “the data will allow us to remove masks in class”.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/17233716/record-covid-cases-new-years-eve-omicron/ Record 3 million Brits had Covid on New Year’s Eve BUT Omicron cases may have peaked, experts insist