Figures released by the Department of Health this afternoon show a further 72,727 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the last 24 hours, while the death toll has risen by 296.
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Britain has recorded a further 72,727 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, while the death toll has risen by 296.
The latest figures, released by the Department of Health this afternoon, show a 9% decline in confirmed infections since this same time last week.
Last Saturday (January 22) a total of 80,263 cases were registered.
Meanwhile, deaths were down marginally from 297.
The number of cases has dropped substantially since peaking around New Year’s, with 245,182 cases recorded on January 4.
However, the time between contracting Covid and getting sick, and then getting seriously ill and dying, means death rates are now rising.
The UK recorded 89,176 cases yesterday, down 7% from last Friday.
It comes after all Covid Plan B measures were withdrawn in England on Thursday.
This meant an end to the mandatory use of face masks on public transport and in shops, guidance for working from home and the need for Covid passes, even though Omicron infection rates continue to rise across the country. .
The UK has returned to Plan A with a focus on rolling out the vaccine, but Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned “it’s not the end of the road” even if the number of cases is falling.
Today, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported that a new sub-strain of the Omicron variant has a higher growth rate and could be more transmissible.
Known as the BA.2 Covid strain, the variant is said to spread faster than the original and is believed to have been identified more than 420 times in the UK since November, with cases multiplying in parts of Europe and India. .
UKHSA said BA.2 had a higher rate of growth compared to BA.1 in all regions of England where there were enough cases to assess it.
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Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA Senior Medical Adviser, said: “We now know that BA.2 has a higher rate of growth which can be seen in all regions of England.
“We have also learned that BA.2 has a slightly higher secondary attack rate than BA.1 in homes.
“Although hospitalizations and deaths remain low, cases remain high in some areas and some age groups, so it is important that we continue to exercise caution as restrictions are lifted.
“Consider wearing a face covering when in crowded places. Get vaccinated to protect against covid-19. If you have any symptoms, get tested.”
Experts said that while the new version appears to spread more easily, early results suggest vaccines are just as effective against it.
Meanwhile, the scientists behind the ZOE Covid symptom app have revealed that people who test positive for Omicron are reporting symptoms more closely associated with the common cold.
However, there are two lesser-known symptoms that are important to be aware of: back pain and dizziness.
Dr Ann Mary, Consultant, General Medicine, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, told IANS: “Back pain, although common in most viral fevers, but compared to Delta, Omicron patients tend to have more back pain and less loss of smell and taste.
“A significant number of these patients have low back pain and severe myalgia that add to the patient’s problems.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.