The worrying increase in Covid-19 infections comes as health experts fear the Omicron variant could be more contagious than other strains
Image: Alex Lentati/LNP)
The UK has recorded 58,194 further Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours – a 15 per cent jump from last week.
It is a shocking rise from last Friday when 50,584 cases were tallied and 143 sadly died.
Today’s grim rise in cases is one of the highest since more than 60,000 were reported on July 15.
It comes after 50,867 new infections were tallied yesterday and 148 deaths were logged.
The worrying increase comes as health experts fear the Omicron variant could be more contagious than other strains, although it is understood the vaccine remains effective at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalisation in most cases.
Today, an Omicron Covid-19 case was reported in a primary school for the first time.
All year five students, aged nine or ten, at Manor Community Primary School in Kent, have been advised to stay home and get tested.
Pupils’ parents received an email informing them of the situation and a mobile testing unit has been dispatched to the school in Keary Road today.
Yesterday, more than 800 cases of Omicron were confirmed across the UK, with 249 new cases reported in a huge 24-hour rise.
Although symptoms are being reported as mild, compared to previous strains, some experts believe Omicron is infecting those who have been vaccinated.
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Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to cancel Christmas parties as she warns of a “tsunami” of Omicron infections.
The First Minister had told Scots the new strain “threatens a rapid and large surge of Covid-19 cases”.
To add to the confusion, Downing Street’s position on Christmas parties in England remained unchanged as they said “we do not think there is a need to cancel people coming together in hospitality venues”.
It comes as Boris Johnson announced new ‘Plan B’ measures in hopes of curbing the spread of the Omicron variant.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said the doubling time of the new strain could be “between two and three days” – meaning its spread will be rapid.
Covid vaccine passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs and large events, and rules on face masks would be “further extended” from Friday, to “most public indoor venues” including theatres and cinemas.
Any contact of a suspected Omicron case will also be forced to isolate for 10 days, the government has said.
He said: “We will reintroduce the guidance to work from home.
“Employers should use the rest of the week to discuss working arrangements with their employees but from Monday you should work from home if you can.
“Go to work if you must but work from home if you can.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.