There have been 1,239 new confirmed cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the UK – a record daily figure, and almost double the previous high which was announced yesterday.
On December 11, 633 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant were reported across the UK, bringing the total number to 1,898.
The total now stands at 3,137 – an increase of 65% since yesterday.
It comes less than two weeks before Christmas, with anxiety running high about how the festive season will look if we are in the middle of a new wave of infection.
Earlier today, the education secretary confirmed that there are people in hospital who have tested positive for the new strain.
Nadhim Zahawi has not said whether the Omicron infection was the primary reason for their hospitalisation or what the vaccination status of the patients were.
Warning that the variant will soon be dominant ‘in the UK and in the world’, the minister said even if it turns out to be milder than Delta, it could result in tens of thousands of hospitalisations.
One third of infections in London are now Omicron and the actual nationwide number of cases could be ‘ten times’ the reported figure of 1,898, Mr Zahawi said.
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