First Omicron Death In UK, Spreads Like Wildfire
On Monday, Britain revealed the first verified death from the Omicron form, as the country launched an ambitious Covid booster shot campaign to combat the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed Omicron accounted for almost 40% of infections in London, and hospital admissions were climbing.
“Unfortunately, one patient died with Omicron,” he told reporters a day after warning of a “tidal wave” of infection.
“It appears to be the first confirmed Omicron death,” the ECDC told News Media.
“It is impossible to tell whether this is the first Omicron death,” the Centre stated.
No Omicron-related deaths have been reported in South Africa, where the viral mutation was first found.
The UK, which has seen 146,000 Covid deaths in the last year, warned on Sunday of escalating levels and rates of transmission.
Johnson stated in a rare broadcast address that emergency steps were required to avoid hospital overcrowding.
Adults can now get a third Covid vaccine by the end of December, a month ahead of schedule.
In the nick of time, the NHS vaccination booking service collapsed, and consumers requesting quick testing kits were told they were out.
London clinics have long lines. To obtain a flu shot before visiting her grandparents for Christmas, Sarah Jackson, 29, took the day off.
“I’m not sure it’ll be enough. I was informed the registration and vaccination lines would take two hours each “AFP said.
“But I have to work at 1:30.”
The “turbocharged” booster programme enlisted 750 military soldiers to set up extra vaccination centres staffed by medics and volunteers.
Booster doses will be delivered on Christmas Day, the PM stated.
500,000 booster shots were given on Saturday, but to meet the new deadline, that amount must be doubled to a million per day for the rest of the year.
Concerns about a new wave have grown as evidence suggests two vaccines are less effective than three.
It said there were 4,713 Omicron instances on Monday, up 1,576 from the previous day.
In Britain, nearly 80% of persons aged 12 and above have gotten a booster shot.
So far, 23 million (40%) have received a booster.
Face masks were made mandatory in public indoor locations last Friday, and new testing and self-isolation restrictions for contact cases started Monday.
Workplaces were also told to stay home, reducing traffic and passengers on public transportation, according to travel and transport providers.
Vaccine passports for some crowded situations, including football stadiums, will be imposed in England starting Wednesday, with additional rules in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The pandemic is Johnson’s top priority after a turbulent week in which he and his staff were accused of violating Covid standards.
Officials have been accused of holding unlawful Christmas parties at Downing Street and across government agencies.
On Tuesday, when the new rules are voted into law, the Prime Minister faces a significant Conservative Party revolt.