Omicron makes up 30% of new Covid cases in London which is the fastest growing area for the variant, along with Scotland, and there are fears more restrictions will be needed
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The British government is considering tougher restrictions after it has emerged that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant makes up 30% of new Covid cases in London.
Boris Johnson has already introduced his Plan B which is unpopular by many members of his own Conservative Party and those in the business community where Christmas is a key period of the year.
Ministers took part in a Cobra meeting on Friday where they looked at what steps can be taken to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, it is reported.
Communities Secretary Michael Grove, who himself has tested positive, said that London and Scotland were hotspots and the situation was “deeply concerning”.
The new data suggests that Omicron will now become dominant by as early as next week.
Last Christmas, London was badly hit by the Alpha variant and now a year on there is talk over whether similar restrictions to those in place then could be reimposed with all 32 boroughs having rising cases of Omicron.
Data from the Department of Health shows that infections in London rose by 25.3% in the week up to December 4 which was the quickest of England’s nine regions.
There were 474.7 infections among 100,000 people tested which was the highest since last January.
So far it has not been reflected in hospitalisations and deaths but the data typically lags behind by several weeks as it takes time for people to become seriously ill.
Mr Gove, reported the Daily Mail, said: “The meeting I’ve just chaired with first ministers of all the devolved administrations was presented with some very challenging new information.
“We know that we have the highest number of Covid infections across the UK recorded today since January 9. We know the Omicron variant is doubling every two to three days in England, and possibly even faster in Scotland.
“We know that 30% of reported cases in London are the Omicron variant and of course we only identified Omicron in this country a fortnight ago.”
On Friday, 58,194 new Covid infections and 120 deaths were reported in the UK within 28 days of a positive test.
A further 488 Omicron infections were reported bringing the total to 1,265, according to the latest figures.
In England, 443 additional Omicron cases were reported totalling 1,139 overall.
One additional case of Omicron has been reported across Scotland which has 110 confirmed cases of the variant.
In Wales, four further cases have been reported with the total number now standing at 13.
No new cases have been reported across Northern Ireland where the number of infections currently remains at three.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.