UK Covid cases soaring to nearly triple amount which caused 2020 Christmas restrictions

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The UK logged a record-breaking 93,045 coronavirus cases on December 17 – almost triple the number recorded on the same date last year – with Downing Street now under intense pressure to introduce Covid restrictions

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Coronavirus in numbers: 51,463,255 first vaccine doses delivered in UK

The UK is facing the threat of further Covid restrictions after scientists called for a month-long lockdown.

It comes exactly one year after Boris Johnson announced a ‘Tier 4’ lockdown across much of England last Christmas.

Daily coronavirus cases hit an all-time high of 93,045 on December 17, almost triple the 35,383 infections logged on the same date in 2020.

The Government is now considering a two-week circuit breaker to tackle the Omicron variant, which is fuelling the UK’s latest Covid wave.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has gone a step further and called for a month-long shutdown.

Pressure is mounting on No10 to take drastic action as cases soar across the country.

Coronavirus cases hit an all-time high on December 17
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This week some 547,606 coronavirus cases were recorded, compared with 190,744 over the same week last year.

Despite this, the number of weekly fatalities is actually down by 6.5%, although scientists have warned that deaths are expected to soar in the coming weeks.

UK researchers said there is ‘no evidence’ Omicron is any milder than the Delta variant, with SAGE warning it could lead to a peak of between 600 and 6,000 deaths a day.

The biggest daily rise in Covid deaths so far was 1,800 fatalities during the second wave of the pandemic.

The number of new Covid cases this week are almost triple what they were over the same period last year
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covid graphics/Gov.co.uk)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out further restrictions in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

He added that there are “no guarantees” following a “sobering analysis” from scientific advisers warning about the threat from Omicron.

Mr Javid said: “There are no guarantees in this pandemic, I don’t think.

“At this point we just have to keep everything under review.”

The coronavirus booster vaccination programme has been ramped up to an unprecedented pace of delivery in a bid to slow the spread.

The Omicron variant is fuelling the UK’s most rapid wave of coronavirus yet
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Sadiq Khan has declared a ‘major incident’ in the capital due to the fast spreading variant which now makes up 80 per cent of cases in London.

The London Mayor said more rules are needed such as social distancing and limits on household mixing.

Boris Johnson was slammed for swerving a vital Cobra meeting on Sunday night as the possibility of a Christmas Covid lockdown remained on a knife-edge.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hit out at the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for skipping the summit as more cash was pledged to combat the Omicron ‘tsunami’.

It comes as the UK Government doubled the amount of additional funding available for the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to tackle Covid from £430 million to £860 million.

But Mrs Sturgeon took a swipe on social media and stated that is has yet to be decided if the money will need to be repaid.

She tweeted: “Before we get spin on ‘doubling’: 1/ the £220m announced last week was NOT new or additional (it was actually £48m less than we had been expecting).

Boris Johnson is under pressure to introduce fresh lockdown restrictions
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“Seeking confirmation if this new £220m is additional (tho if so £48m will just make up last w/k loss) and if it has to be repaid.”

She said that “to the extent it is new/additional”, the Scottish Government will make sure it goes in full to helping business and the overall Covid effort.

Ms Sturgeon added: “As infections soar and businesses suffer, we still need much more urgency in action/support from UK Gov – so that devolved gov hands not tied.

“To that end, it was disappointing and frustrating that neither the PM nor the Chancellor attended this evening’s COBRA.”

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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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