The UK Covid cases have hit a record high with 183,037 new infections recorded in just 24 hours, up nearly 50,000 from the day before
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The UK has hit a record number of Covid infections recording 183,037 cases, up over 50,000 from 129,471 cases on Tuesday.
Record rates have been hit on consecutive days as a testing crisis grips many parts of the country, with people unable to get ahold of PCR or lateral flow tests.
This comes as Boris Johnson urged New Year’s revellers to enjoy their parties in a “cautious and sensible way”.
The Prime Minister defended his refusal to impose more Covid restrictions in England, despite the rest of the UK having introduced measures of some kind.
He did admit that the Omicron variant “continues to cause real problems”.
However, he insisted that it was now “obviously milder” than the Delta strain and urged the public to get their booster.
On top of this, he also claimed that 90% of Covid patients in some intensive care wards were not boosted.
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He said: “If you’re not vaccinated, you’re eight times more likely to get into hospital altogether.
“So it’s a great thing to do. It’s very, very important.
“Get boosted for yourself, and enjoy New Year sensibly and cautiously.”
The Prime Minister insisted he was right to pursue a different course from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who have all curbed indoor gatherings.
Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed a six-person limit on multi-household groups in pubs.
Mr Johnson appeared to acknowledge Welsh and Scots living near the English borders could party over the frontiers.
Asked about cross-border travel he replied: “I think everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible way.
“Take a test, ventilation, think about others – but above all, get a booster.”
His comments came after the UK recorded another daily record for new Covid cases.
On December 28, the UK recorded 129,471 cases, a huge 42% increase on seven days prior.
This meant that over the seven-day period more than 800,000 people tested positive for Covid, a 30.3 percent increase in cases compared to the week before.
On Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday told the public no new restrictions would be introduced before the New Year despite the repeated record cases numbers.
Alongside that, the PM faces growing calls to slash the mandatory isolation period from infected people from seven days to five, if sufferers test negative.
This would match actions taken in the US.
However, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor warned that “staff absence is a huge issue for the NHS right now” – on top of about 100,000 vacancies that already existed.
Asked if the self-isolation period for Covid should be cut to five days to free up more staff, he told the BBC : “The Government, with scientific advice, has to make an assessment of the balance of risk here.
“But it’s important to recognise that there are risks to anything that we do, and if we were to reduce to five days that would have to be based on very clear evidence that is not going to increase the rate of infection.”
He suggested more evidence was needed over the impact of the rampant Omicron variant – and said there had been a rise in hospital admissions.
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