British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the first death infected with the Omicron variant. He told reporters at the vaccination clinic that he thinks this is a milder version of the virus. He thinks it is something that we should put aside and know the absolute rate at which it is accelerating in the population.
Raised the alert level for Covid-19 recently and is once again accelerating the launch of booster strikes to respond to the new wave of cases after Boris Johnson confirmed the first death of Omicron.
Health Minister Sajid Javid warned that Omicron infections differ from previous data.
Javid told to media that it is spreading at an unprecedented rate, something we have never seen before: it doubles every two to three days in infection. He added that it was too early to tell if the new variant cases were milder.
He added, echoing the language Johnson used in a televised speech, it means that we are facing a severe wave of infection. Once again, we are in a race between a vaccine and the virus.
The prime minister set a new goal of giving a third dose to all adults by the December end, a month earlier than originally planned. He had previously reduced the interval between the second and third doses from six months to three. Since last summer, the British government has centered its response to Covid around a vaccine program and resisted re-imposing restrictions until an alternative, Omicron, emerged.
Boris Johnson said he is afraid it is now clear that two doses of the vaccine are not enough to provide the level of protection we all need. They are citing early data showing that the new alternative shrinks the effectiveness of a two-dose regimen. However, these reinforcements still provide a good level of protection.
Johnson said there should be no question: a strong Omicron tsunami is coming. However, the good news is that our scientists are confident that we can all regain our level of protection with a third dose, a booster dose.
The UK has reported 3,137 cases of the Omicron variant, although the actual number is likely to be higher. Javid said that about ten people are in the hospital with the new substitute. Overall, the average seven-day case of Covid-19 in the country has exceeded 50,000 cases per day.
Javid said that Omicron could be behind 40 percent of injuries in London. But Johnson said tomorrow would be the majority of cases, noting how quickly the new strain spread in its first weeks in Britain.
New guidelines came into effect requiring people to work from home. The UK has also reauthorized its mask for shops and public transport, requiring proof of vaccination or negative test for attendees at large events.
The latest wave of new restrictions marks a sea change from recent months. Johnson has resisted Europe’s shift toward long-term easing measures such as vaccine passports and mask mandates.
Over his decision to reintroduce the Covid rules, the embattled prime minister faced a major rebellion from Conservative MPs. They were relying on the support of the opposition Labor Party to make them law.
Johnson was also involved in a scandal over reports this Downing Street held a series of parties for employees last winter. When the rest of the UK lived under strict rules prohibiting social mixing, he denied Covid’s fast-track rules forcefully to divert attention from his political troubles.