Omicron has caused Covid infections to soar across the country but so far Boris Johnson has restricted the urge to impose tougher measure s in England – unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
The UK has recorded 320,000 new Covid cases over the three days of Christmas, including 98,515 in the last 24 hours.
Those figures include the daily numbers that would normally have been published on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but the statistics for today do not yet include Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
The data for England was as follows: 113,628 new cases on Christmas Day, 103,558 new cases on Boxing Day and 98,515 new cases on December 27.
The Christmas Day figure for England is the third-highest on record since the pandemic began – with a higher number of new infections reported only on December 22 and 21 where 121,539 and 115,465 positive cases were reported respectively.
An additional 5,335 new cases were confirmed in Wales on Boxing Day.
Provisional figures from Scotland suggest there were 8,252 new cases on December 25, 11,030 on December 26 and 10,562 on December 27.
Covid-19 patients in hospitals in England surged by 62% in a week, according to recent NHS data released after Christmas.
The latest seven-day average of new Covid cases recorded for December 24 was 2,117, which is 62% up from 1,305 a week previously.
The data released late on Boxing Day indicates the rate of increase for hospitalisations of Covid patients in London had slowed.
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
The capital has been named as the epicentre for the rampant spread of Omicron – with some experts claiming one in 10 people have Covid-19 in some parts of London.
The UK has recorded a massive uplift in the number of Covid-19 cases after a break of two days in the daily reported figures.
The unsurprising increase indicates the extent to which Omicron has taken hold – signs of which had been obvious in the days leading up to Christmas Day, with a total of 122,186 new cases reported on December 24.
The Omicron variant is very contagious and can infect anyone – even those who are fully vaccinated.
It is milder which means there is a reduced risk of those who catch the variant needing hospital treatment – but it is still highly contagious and some people may become very ill meaning there is a risk of increased pressure on the NHS.
The rise in case numbers comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today being briefed on the latest Covid data.
Tighter restrictions were announced across the other nations of Great Britain prior to Christmas Day – to come into force after the big day.
England is so far the only nation not to implement restrictions on hospitality venues such as seen in other parts of the UK.
Downing Street previously said it would not hesitate to act after Christmas if necessary.
Currently, people in England are required to work from home where possible, wear face coverings in shops and other public environments and present Covid passes to gain admittance to large-scale events.
Sources claim the PM is not expected to announce any further coronavirus restrictions in England today.
The chief executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson said there could be some early positive signs that this wave will not be as bad as last January – when the Government was forced to put the country on lockdown again to curb the skyrocketing case numbers.
Mr Hopson told Sky News: “[Hospitals are] not seeing the numbers of older people who’ve got real respiratory problems, needing critical care, needing very large amounts of oxygen support.
“We’re just not seeing those numbers at this point that we saw in January 2021.”
NHS figures published today also revealed more than 12,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Christmas Day.
These so-called jingle jabs were delivered across the country, with Redbridge Town Hall in Essex topping the rankings for the most jabs at any single venue with more than 900 people jabbed.
On Boxing Day, 24,078 vaccines were delivered, including 20,278 top-up booster shots.
These figures were released as health officials, Government ministers and the Prime Minister announced 1.5 million jabs are available for the coming week – urging unvaccinated Brits to step forward to get vaccinated.
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