In a bleak Christmas Eve update, the Department of Health confirmed that cases have risen by an alarming 48.2 per cent week-on-week as Omicron rips through the country
Image: John Myers)
A record 122,186 Covid cases have been reported across the UK in just 24 hours, with a further 137 lives lost to the virus.
In a bleak Christmas Eve update, the Department of Health confirmed that cases have risen by an alarming 48.2 per cent week-on-week as Omicron rips through the country.
It means that in the past week more than 700,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
Hospitalisations climbed by eight per cent in a week, with latest data showing 1,171 Covid-related admissions in 24 hours.
A week ago there were 93,045 cases and 111 deaths, while a fortnight ago 58,194 infections were confirmed alongside 120 deaths.
The UK Health Security Agency today said it had confirmed 114,625 Omicron infections so far, with more than 100,000 of these in England.
Press Association Images)
However encouraging figures suggest that those who contract the Omicron strain are less likely to be hospitalised.
Earlier today new figures from the Office for National Statistics found that a record-breaking 1.7 million people in the UK had Covid-19 in just one week.
The total is the highest since comparable figures began in autumn 2020.
The percentage of people infected varies widely across the UK, with England topping the four nations with 2.83% testing positive between between 13 December 2021 and 19 December 2021.
Wales hit 2.3%, Northern Ireland 2.45% and Scotland the much lower figure of 1.5%.
The worst hit area in England was London, where one in 20 people caught the virus, while that total dropped significantly in the North East to one in 55.
Rick Findler / Story Picture Agency)
Yesterday the UK endured a record number of daily infections when 119,789 cases were reported in just a single 24 hour period.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has warned a “large wave” of Covid hospital admissions “should be expected soon”.
Analysis last night suggested a person with Omicron Covid is “50 to 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital” than a person with the Delta.
UK Health Security Agency chief Dr Jenny Harries said while it was only early data, it did give a “glimmer of Christmas hope”.
But SAGE, which considered some of the evidence yesterday, also warned Omicron has so far largely infected younger people who are less likely to get seriously ill.
Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
“As infections move into older age groups, a large wave of hospital admissions should be expected,” SAGE’s minutes say.
Take-up of booster and third doses of Covid-19 vaccine has slowed in the run-up to Christmas, though figures are still well above levels seen earlier in December, new data shows.
A total of 605,561 extra doses of vaccine were recorded in the UK on Thursday – the lowest daily figure since December 13.
It is the second day in a row the number has fallen, after hitting a record high of 968,665 on Tuesday.
The total continues to be comfortably above the daily figures for earlier in the month, however.