Covid: Cases hit new record as booster drive continues

A record number of daily coronavirus cases have actually been reported across the UK for the second day running, with 88,376 infections confirmed on Thursday.

England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said the Omicron variant could rise "incredibly fast", but its peak subside quickly due to boosters.

There was likewise a record for top-up vaccines with 745,183 3rd or booster doses being provided on Wednesday.

Boris Johnson has actually urged people to utilize "caution" in the face of the variant.

However the prime minister firmly insisted England was not being taken into lockdown by stealth, after some of his own MPs had actually accused the federal government of putting hospitality under an "reliable lockdown".

On the other hand, the Queen has cancelled her traditional pre-Christmas lunch as a precautionary procedure amidst the surge of the Omicron variant.

And Wales has actually presented a two-stage strategy in reaction to coronavirus with guidance - such as taking a lateral circulation test ahead of socialising - for the Christmas period prior to legal restrictions enter into force on 27 December.

These will consist of all nightclubs closing, 2m social distancing in offices and other steps to protect clients and personnel.A more 146 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Thursday across the UK.

Daily cases were up from 78,610 on Wednesday, itself a record, and more than 30,000 up on last Thursday when 50,867 infections were reported.

Prof Whitty said the peak of the Omicron wave may fall faster than previous Covid-19 peaks, although he stated the increase will be "exceptionally quick".

But he added that this was just a possibility, adding that the rate of development would slow down when people had received booster vaccines or been contaminated by the variant.

Speaking to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, he said that even with people acting very carefully the increase in Omicron cases would still be "very quickly".But the booster programme was the route back to a "more normal track", Prof Whitty said.

Fallback steps and "actually critically the booster programme" were planned to slow things down, he said, however he added that "if the truths modification and it ends up being clearer that things are heading the wrong method, ministers are constantly going to take continuous reviews of this".

Prof Whitty stated if vaccines were less reliable than expected against Omicron then that would be a "material modification" in how ministers saw dangers moving forward.

He likewise said it is most likely that vaccines and antiviral drugs will do "nearly all of the heavy lifting" when it comes to tackling future Covid variations.

Prof Whitty stated "each 6 months will be much better than the last six months" when it pertains to fighting Covid.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) chief medical consultant Dr Susan Hopkins informed MPs that there were now 15 people in healthcare facility with the Omicron variant, however Prof Whitty stated the real number will be much higher.

Dr Hopkins stated that the earliest there would be dependable information on Omicron would be in the week between Christmas and New Year, with around 250 people with confirmed Omicron required in health center for a complete study on seriousness.

The hospitality sector has actually required support from government after suffering amid the rise in Covid cases, with worries about Omicron leading to reservations being cancelled.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak acknowledged it was a "hard time" for hospitality but stated the scenario was "really various to what we've done and experienced before", including that the federal government was not informing people to cancel things or closing down companies.

The prime minister stated he was not telling the general public to cancel events but Prof Whitty had actually recommended people need to "prioritise" activities in the run up to Christmas.Labour has called for clarity from the government on how it wanted people to act in the coming weeks.
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