Omicron cases by area: The 10 regions in England with the highest Covid cases

Sajid Javid provides update on measures against Omicron variant

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Since first being detected in the UK last month, cases of the new Covid variant, Omicron, have grown significantly and in total now stand at nearly 1,000. Concerns are rising that it could soon take over as the globally dominant variant – but where are cases of it being reported the most in England, and could your area be in the top 10?

Saturday November 27 is when the UK revealed that it had recorded its first official cases of the Omicron variant.

In the near two weeks that have followed, 817 – as of Thursday December 9 – cases have now been confirmed throughout the British Isles, according to data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Yesterday marked the record for the most new cases of Omicron to be reported in the UK over a 24-hour period, with 249.

On Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases was nearly half of that (131), while 101 were reported on Tuesday.

The increase in Omicron infections comes as the UK yesterday announced more than 50,000 new Covid cases, for the fifth time in a week.

Figures have revealed that London and the East Midlands are seeing the highest number of Omicron cases in England.

To date the following 10 areas in England have reported the highest number of Omicron cases:

  • West Northamptonshire – 27
  • Croydon – 8
  • Hackney – 8
  • Lambeth – 8
  • Newham – 8
  • Brent – 7
  • Buckinghamshire – 7
  • Greenwich – 7
  • Lewisham – 7
  • Wandsworth – 6

Public health officials have been conducting PCR testing on all close contacts of confirmed Omicron cases.

Suspected Omicron cases are now able to be picked up by scientists, through the implementation of a lab test called ‘S-gene target failure’ (SGTF).

The test refers to the deletion of a gene that is ordinarily found in a number of other Covid variants – including the Delta strain.

This type of test – referred to as the S-gene “dropout” – has been adopted as a marker for showing where cases of Omicron are rising in comparison to the Delta variant.

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On Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that he would be tightening Covid restrictions for the UK and enacting his winter ‘Plan B’.

New rules now make it mandatory for face masks to be worn in most indoor locations – including theatres, cinemas and indoor sports arenas.

From next Monday, the Government’s guidance to work from home, where possible, will be re-introduced.

Next week will also require visitors to withhold a NHS Covid Pass in order to enter nightclubs and other venues with large crowds.

South Africa became the first country in the world, last month, to report an official case of Omicron to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The variant has now been detected in at least 38 countries – including Japan, USA and Brazil.

Two days after it was first reported by South Africa, the WHO declared Omicron a “variant of concern”, and has since been trying to determine the full impact of the Covid strain – of which there were initial concerns that it could be more resistant to vaccines.

Early findings are mixed, with preliminary data out of South Africa indicating that it is more transmissible than the Delta variant but that it causes less severe symptoms and illnesses.

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