UK Covid cases soar past 50,000 for fifth time this week as 132 deaths recorded


The government figures have been released as scientists warn that up to 75,000 people could die from Covid in the next five months as Omicron sweeps the country

People in Sheffield wearing face masks to prevent coronavirus spreading
People in Sheffield wearing face masks to prevent coronavirus spreading

The number of Covid deaths are up by 132 and infections have increased by 54,073 in the last 24 hours.

This is the fifth time this week that the UK has recorded more than 50,000 new infections in a day, government data has revealed.

Back on January 4 this year, infection figures hit a record 76,128 across the UK and were high again in July when they topped 60,000 on the 15th.

The worrying news comes as scientists warn that up to 75,000 people could die from Covid in the next five months as the Omicron variant sweeps through the UK.

Experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said tougher coronavirus restrictions may be needed to prevent Omicron from causing a high number of hospitalisations and deaths.

The scientists, who advise the government, said the new Covid-19 strain could cause between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths in England over the next five months.

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Commuters wearing face masks
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They used experimental data to look at how Omicron may transmit as the country heads into 2022.

People are urged to work from home from Monday and produce the NHS Covid pass at big events from Wednesday.

The LSHTM team said mask-wearing, working from home and booster jabs may not be enough, and predict a peak of daily hospital admissions of 2,400 in January.

Dr Rosanna Barnard, from LSHTM’s Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, who co-led the research, said: “More data over the next few weeks will strengthen our knowledge on Omicron and the consequences of this on transmission in England.

Shoppers on London’s Oxford Street
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“However, these early projections help guide our understanding about potential futures in a rapidly-evolving situation.

“In our most optimistic scenario, the impact of Omicron in the early part of 2022 would be reduced with mild control measures such as working from home.

“However, our most pessimistic scenario suggests that we may have to endure more stringent restrictions to ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed.

“Mask-wearing, social distancing and booster jabs are vital, but may not be enough.

“Nobody wants to endure another lockdown but last-resort measures may be required to protect health services if Omicron has a significant level of immune escape or otherwise increased transmissibility compared to Delta.

“It is crucial for decision-makers to consider the wider societal impact of these measures, not just the epidemiology.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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