A map produced by the Sanger Institute shows that South Northamptonshire has now become England’s Covid capital and finds itself at the heart of the country’s Omicron outbreak
A terrifying map has shown how Omicron has swept across England and made South Northamptonshire the nation’s new Covid capital.
The district in the East Midlands has found itself at the centre of the Omicron outbreak in England according to data from the Sanger Institute.
The two maps show the state of Covid across the England before and during the ongoing Omicron outbreak.
The first runs the two weeks up November 20, approaching when the variant was first announced.
The second map shows the most recently available data which shows how London and parts of the East Midlands have become the centre of the new crisis.
South Northamptonshire is by far the most affected area, registering 26 new genomes a week – how the variants are measured.
Neighbouring Milton Keynes and Aylesbury also record much higher than average levels, but are far behind South Northamptonshire.
In London, Lewisham, Newham, and Barking and Dagenham are the most affected boroughs, but none of them are recording even half the number of genomes as South Northamptonshire.
Large parts of the south-west and south-east are affected too, as well as Manchester and Liverpool.
The maps demonstrate the growing worry as the Covid crisis worsens ahead of Christmas.
To avoid having to isolate over the festive period, Brits have been going into a self-imposed lockdown which has left pubs and restaurants facing cancellations and losing business during what is usually an incredibly busy time.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty called on people to prioritise their social events ahead of Christmas, and try to avoid being out with strangers or in large groups.
He added that a rise in Omicron hospitalisations is “nailed on” after cases hit a record high yesterday.
He said: “I think that what most people are doing is – and I would think this seems very sensible – is prioritising the social interactions that really matter to them and, to protect those ones, de-prioritising ones that matter much less to them.”
The Omicron variant of Covid was first reported on November 24, in South Africa, however, genomic sequencing traced it back earlier in a number of countries.
Since then, and after a red-list travel ban to try and slow the spread, the UK recorded a record high number of Covid cases yesterday at 78,610.
This is only expected to keep rising as the government resisted calls to impose further restrictions.