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As Britain’s Omicron cases surge, London moves to help hospitals


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Author of the article:

Reuters

William Schomberg

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Publishing date:

Dec 18, 2021  •  38 minutes in the past  •  2 minute learn  • 

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LONDON — Britain reported a surge in cases of the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant on Saturday, and London’s mayor declared a “major incident” to help the capital’s hospitals following a pointy rise in COVID-19 admissions.

The whole variety of Omicron cases recorded throughout the nation hit virtually 25,000 as of 1800 GMT on Friday, up by greater than 10,000 cases from 24 hours earlier, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) mentioned in its newest information.

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Seven folks believed to have had the Omicron variant had died as of Thursday, up from one loss of life within the UKHSA’s earlier information which ran up to Tuesday. Hospitalisations of individuals thought to have the variant elevated to 85 from 65.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” – which permits for nearer coordination between totally different public companies and probably extra central authorities help – as COVID-19 hospital admissions within the metropolis rose by practically 30% this week.

He mentioned well being employee absences had additionally elevated.

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“I’ve taken the decision, in consultation with our partners, to declare a major incident today,” Khan mentioned throughout a go to to Stamford Bridge, the house of Chelsea Football Club which is getting used as a mass vaccination middle.

“This is a statement of how serious things are,” he mentioned.

Khan, from the opposition Labour Party, additionally declared a serious incident in January, when rising COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

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The Omicron variant https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/how-worried-should-we-be-about-omicron-variant-2021-12-14 is estimated to account for greater than 80% of recent COVID-19 cases in London, officers mentioned on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to chair an emergency committee assembly over the weekend with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have their very own powers over public well being.

Sky News mentioned authorities ministers have been being briefed on the newest coronavirus information on Saturday.

The Times newspaper reported that officers have been making ready draft new guidelines that, if launched, would ban indoor mixing in England apart from work for 2 weeks after Christmas when pubs and eating places can be restricted to desk service outdoor.

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People would give you the chance to meet in teams of up to six outdoor, the newspaper mentioned.

But ministers have been but to formally contemplate the plans, The Times mentioned.

Johnson mentioned on Friday “we are not closing things down.”

A authorities spokesperson, requested about The Times report, mentioned the federal government would proceed to “look closely at all the emerging data and we’ll keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant.”

The whole variety of all new COVID-19 cases reported in official information edged down to 90,418 from a report excessive of greater than 93,000 on Friday, however that was nonetheless the nation’s second-highest each day toll. Figures usually dip on the weekend.

Cases have been up 44.4% over the seven days to Dec. 18 in contrast with the earlier week. (Writing by William Schomberg Editing by Helen Popper)

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