Covid-19 news: Falling cases in UK suggests omicron wave has peaked

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By Michael Le Page, Clare Wilson, Jessica Hamzelou, Sam Wong, Graham Lawton, Adam Vaughan, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Jason Arunn Murugesu and Layal Liverpool

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Latest coronavirus quality arsenic of 12pm connected 17 January

A autumn successful coronavirus cases and plateau successful infirmary admissions crossed the UK is ‘cautiously bully news’ 

A autumn successful caller coronavirus cases successful the UK suggests the question triggered by the highly-transmissible omicron variant whitethorn person passed its peak. 

On Sunday, 70,924 radical successful the UK tested affirmative for coronavirus, according to UK authorities data. Within the past 7 days, 754,054 caller cases person been reported – a alteration of 463,043 connected the erstwhile 7 days. 

“It does look similar crossed the full of the state cases bash look to beryllium falling,” Mike Tildesley of the University of Warwick told BBC Breakfast today

“We person had… very, precise precocious lawsuit numbers passim precocious December and aboriginal January we peaked supra 200,000 astatine 1 point. We bash present look to beryllium a small spot beyond that,” helium said.

But deaths person risen implicit the aforesaid period. A full of 1834 radical died wrong 28 days of a affirmative trial effect successful the 7 days to Sunday, a 41.6 per cent summation connected the erstwhile week.

“Hospital admissions are inactive comparatively high, albeit determination is immoderate grounds that possibly they’re plateauing oregon perchance adjacent going down successful London, which is cautiously bully news,” said Tildesley.

“Looking astatine it from a UK constituent of view, determination does look to beryllium airy astatine the extremity of the tunnel,” David Nabarro, a World Health Organization peculiar envoy for covid-19 told Sky News. “I deliberation that it’s going to beryllium bumpy earlier we get to the end.”

“So adjacent though it’s imaginable to commencement imagining that the extremity of the pandemic is not acold away, conscionable everybody beryllium acceptable for the anticipation that determination volition beryllium much variations and mutations coming along, oregon that determination volition beryllium further challenges, different surges of adjacent omicron coming,” Nabarro said. 

Other coronavirus news

France’s parliament approved a arguable vaccine passes argumentation connected Sunday. In coming days, radical successful France volition beryllium required to amusement grounds of vaccination to participate restaurants, cafes, cinemas, long-distance trains and different nationalist spaces.

Austria, connected the different hand, is reviewing plans for obligatory vaccination crossed the country. The authorities has raised the minimum property of those affected by the projected vaccine mandate from 14 to 18. The measure is planned to go instrumentality astatine the extremity of February, and volition mean radical who aren’t vaccinated could beryllium fined thousands of euros. 

COVAX delivered its 1 billionth coronavirus vaccine dose connected Saturday. The planetary vaccine-sharing initiative, which aims for just and adjacent entree to covid-19 vaccines, has shipped the doses to 144 countries since February 2021. 

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Previous updates

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A antheral wears a Wales look disguise connected Queen Street successful Cardiff, Wales

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14 January

Wales joins Scotland and Northern Ireland successful readying exit strategy from omicron restrictions 

Wales is reversing immoderate of its restrictions aimed astatine curbing the dispersed of covid-19 implicit the adjacent fewer weeks, arsenic cases determination person started to fall. From Saturday, the fig of radical who tin be an outdoor lawsuit volition emergence from 50 to 500. That volition emergence to unlimited numbers connected 21 January, though covid passes volition inactive beryllium required. From 28 January, nightclubs tin reopen and pubs and restaurants tin instrumentality to operating normally, though covid passes volition inactive beryllium needed for cinemas and theatres. 

Tighter restrictions were introduced successful Wales successful precocious December arsenic the state experienced a surge of omicron cases. But these peaked connected 30 December and person since been falling arsenic rapidly. Scotland and Northern Ireland besides acceptable tighter rules successful December, though successful England, omicron restrictions were constricted to advising radical to enactment from location wherever imaginable and making look masks mandatory again successful shops, cinemas and theatres. Speaking connected BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford denied the determination was a U-turn and said helium was following the science. Scotland volition besides region immoderate restrictions connected numbers astatine ample sporting events from adjacent week. Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan has said restrictions could start to beryllium eased adjacent week.

Other coronavirus news

Panic buying has started successful immoderate shops successful China, erstwhile citizens were told connected the Ministry of Commerce website to stockpile nutrient and different regular necessities. They were told “to store a definite magnitude of regular necessities arsenic needed to conscionable regular beingness and emergencies”. State newspaper, The Economic Daily, said the determination was to guarantee radical were prepared successful the lawsuit of a covid-19 lockdown. Covid-19 cases are precise debased successful China, but determination are section lockdowns and wide investigating to effort to stamp retired section outbreaks.

Israel has present administered fractional a million fourth doses of coronavirus vaccines, successful an effort to blunt its surge of omicron cases. But the UK’s Joint Committee connected Vaccination and Immunisation said past week they would not beryllium recommending 4th jabs, arsenic 3 doses were continuing to provide good extortion aft 3 months.

The Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson tested affirmative for covid-19, her spokesperson announced today. Andersson was reported to beryllium “feeling fine”.

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Sajid Javid, wellness secretary, arrives astatine No.10 Downing Street, London, UK

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13 January

Isolation play shortened for radical with covid-19 successful England

People who trial affirmative for covid-19 successful England volition beryllium capable to halt self-isolating aft 5 days if they person 2 antagonistic lateral travel trial results, the UK wellness curate has announced. 

Sajid Javid told MPs successful the House of Commons that UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) information showed “that astir two-thirds of affirmative cases are nary longer infectious by the extremity of time five”.

From Monday, radical volition beryllium capable to decorativeness isolation astatine the commencement of time six if they grounds 2 antagonistic results connected lateral travel tests connected days 5 and six. The alteration is intended to maximise enactment successful the system and acquisition portion minimising the hazard of radical passing connected the virus, helium said..

Previously, radical with covid-19 had to self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days. The determination follows a akin argumentation alteration successful the US

Matthew Taylor, main enforcement of the NHS Confederation, said: “This is simply a pragmatic determination which leaders volition invited if it tin mean much wellness and attraction workers who are good capable tin instrumentality to the frontline, providing it does not importantly adhd to the hazard of the microorganism spreading.”

Other coronavirus news

England’s lawman main aesculapian serviceman Jonathan Van-Tam is to leave his relation astatine the extremity of March. Van-Tam, whose appearances successful televised covid-19 briefings person been wide praised, has been connected secondment to the Department of Health from the University of Nottingham since 2017. He volition instrumentality to the assemblage to instrumentality up a caller relation arsenic pro-vice chancellor for the module of medicine and wellness sciences. UK premier curate Boris Johnson thanked Van-Tam “for his bonzer publication to our state and his invaluable proposal passim the pandemic”. 

It is excessively soon to accidental the coronavirus is moving into an endemic phase, a World Health Organization authoritative has warned. “Endemicity assumes that there’s unchangeable circulation of the virus, astatine predictable levels with predictable waves of transmission… that doesn’t trust connected outer forces being placed successful bid to support that stability,” Catherine Smallwood said astatine a property league connected Tuesday. “But what we’re seeing astatine the moment, coming into 2022, is obscurity adjacent that. We can’t conscionable beryllium backmost and spot a unchangeable complaint of transmission.”

Measures to tackle covid-19 besides led to a melodramatic autumn successful infirmary admissions for communal puerility infections successful England, according to a survey published successful the British Medical Journal. There were thousands less admissions for meningitis, flu, tonsillitis and pneumonia and different conditions arsenic the federation went into lockdown, schools closed and children’s societal contacts importantly reduced. Some children with pre-existing conditions specified arsenic asthma were besides “substantially protected” from different infections that could person perchance been life-threatening, researchers reported. The survey analysed information from 2017 to mid-2021.

Around three-quarters of teachers successful France are expected to onslaught contiguous successful protestation astatine the government’s handling of covid-19 measures. Since the commencement of January, a surge successful cases caused by the omicron variant has led to large disruption, with astir 10,000 classes closed owed to infections among unit and pupils. Teaching unions are demanding amended protections against the virus, including high-quality look masks for unit and c dioxide monitors.

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12 January

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly moving toward becoming endemic, according to the European Medicines Agency

As cases of coronavirus proceed to soar astir the world, the presumption of the coronavirus outbreak is rapidly moving from pandemic to endemic, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“Nobody knows precisely erstwhile we’ll beryllium astatine the extremity of the tunnel, but we’ll [get] there,” EMA caput of biologic wellness threats and vaccine strategy Marco Cavaleri told journalists astatine a property briefing connected 11 January. “What is important and what we’re seeing is that we are moving towards the microorganism being much endemic.”

Cavaleri didn’t specify what helium meant by endemic. The word technically means that infections are unchangeable and predictable.

Cases proceed to emergence crossed Europe. Germany and Bulgaria some reported the highest regular complaint of caller cases since the commencement of the pandemic successful the past 24 hours, for example, Al Jazeera reports.

“We should not hide that we are inactive successful a pandemic,” Cavaleri said. “Nevertheless… with omicron determination volition beryllium a batch of earthy immunity taking spot connected apical of vaccination, we volition beryllium [rapidly] moving towards a script that volition beryllium person to endemicity.”

Cavaleri besides warned that the repeated transportation of booster doses of covid-19 vaccines is not a sustainable strategy for managing outbreaks. “We are alternatively acrophobic astir a strategy that entangles repeated vaccination wrong a abbreviated term,” helium said. While booster doses mightiness beryllium indispensable for those who are immunosuppressed oregon different susceptible to terrible disease, “we cannot truly continuously springiness a booster dose each 3 oregon 4 months”, helium said.

However, Ugur Sahin, the caput of BioNTech, yesterday told the JP Morgan Health Care Conference: “We bash not cognize however overmuch immunity is associated with an omicron infection.”

He said that the institution volition commencement a objective proceedings of an omicron-specific Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the extremity of this period and that commercial-scale manufacturing of this vaccine has already begun. “We expect to beryllium acceptable for marketplace proviso by March 2022, taxable to regulatory approval.”

Asked if the vaccine volition travel excessively precocious to person a meaningful effect connected the omicron surge, Sahin said “Because astir of the infections are mild, it is rather imaginable that adjacent an corruption with omicron requires an further booster to guarantee prolonged protection.”

He besides told the league that three cardinal doses of the archetypal Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were made successful 2021. The companies shipped 2.6 cardinal doses and much than a cardinal radical successful 162 countries oregon regions person been vaccinated with them, the caput of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, told the JP Morgan healthcare league connected 11 January.

“Millions of cases of terrible unwellness oregon decease [were] apt averted,” helium said.

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Commuters hold connected the level astatine Auber RER bid presumption successful Paris, France

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11 January

More than 50 per cent of radical successful Europe volition beryllium infected by the omicron variant wrong the adjacent 6 to 8 weeks, warns WHO

Most radical successful Europe volition go infected with the omicron variant successful the adjacent 6 to 8 weeks if the inclination successful lawsuit rates continues, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

The portion saw 7 cardinal caller cases of covid-19 successful the archetypal week of 2022 – a fig that had much than doubled implicit a two-week period, WHO determination manager for Europe Hans Kluge told journalists astatine a property briefing connected Tuesday

“As of 10 January, 26 countries reported implicit 1 per cent of their colonisation is catching covid-19 each week,” Kluge said. “At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that much than 50 per cent of the colonisation successful the portion volition beryllium infected with omicron successful the adjacent 6 to 8 weeks.”

Other coronavirus news

Over 176,000 radical successful the UK person had covid-19 mentioned connected their decease certificate since the commencement of pandemic, according to the nation’s Office for National Statistics, The Guardian reports.

The 176,035 fig is higher than the UK government’s authoritative count, which presently stands astatine 173,509. The fig for deaths wrong 28 days of a affirmative trial presently stands astatine 150,230.

Cases stay precocious successful the UK. Over 1.2 cardinal cases person been recorded successful the past 7 days, and 142,224 cases were reported yesterday alone.

The US recorded 1.35 cardinal cases of coronavirus infections connected Monday – the highest regular full for immoderate state successful the satellite since the pandemic began, according to a tally by quality bureau Reuters. 

The erstwhile grounds for the US was 1.03 cardinal cases, which was reported connected 3 January, Reuters reports.

The full US is presently experiencing precocious levels of assemblage transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Covid Data Tracker. Over the past 7 days, implicit 4.1 cardinal cases person been recorded successful the US, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The fig represents an 86 per cent summation connected the erstwhile week.

The fig of radical hospitalised with a coronavirus corruption besides continues to emergence successful the country. As of Sunday, 142,388 radical with the microorganism were hospitalised – a record-breaking fig that surpasses the highest of 142,315 reported connected 14 January past year, reports the New York Times.

In the past 7 days, 8,720 radical successful the US person died with a coronavirus infection, according to the HHS. So far, astir 838,000 radical successful the US person mislaid their lives to the virus.

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Shoppers locomotion on Oxford Street connected December 27, 2021 successful London, England

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10 January

UK Prime Minister expected to denote plans for ‘living with covid’ successful coming weeks

UK authorities ministers are hinting astatine plans for the federation to “live with covid”. “I anticipation we volition beryllium 1 of the archetypal large economies to show to the satellite however you modulation from pandemic to endemic,” Nadhim Zahawi, erstwhile curate for covid vaccine deployment, told Sky News connected Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to denote details of specified a program wrong the coming weeks.  

“We are moving to a concern wherever it is imaginable to accidental that we tin unrecorded with covid and that the unit connected the NHS and connected captious nationalist services is abating,” elder curate Michael Gove told Sky News. “But it’s perfectly captious to recognise that we are not determination yet.” 

To beryllium considered endemic, a illness outbreak would beryllium consistently contiguous successful a region, with predictable dispersed and corruption rates. The dispersed and rates of the illness would beryllium predictable. This is presently acold from the lawsuit successful the UK, wherever implicit 150,000 deaths person been reported truthful far, and 141,472 caller cases were reported connected Sunday.

Scientists person expressed concern. Devi Sridhar astatine the University of Edinburgh points retired that no state has learned to unrecorded with covid without “crashing wellness services, societal life, the system oregon having wide disruption” successful 1 mode oregon another.

“They accidental that we person to larn to unrecorded with it, but we’re not learning,” Christina Pagel astatine University College London told Times Radio. “We’re conscionable pretending it’s not happening.” 

Maria Van Kerkhove, the method pb connected covid-19 astatine the World Health Organization (WHO), antecedently told New Scientist that she dislikes the operation “learning to unrecorded with the virus”, saying: “I don’t deliberation we should larn to unrecorded with it. There are tons of things we tin beryllium doing to halt the microorganism from spreading. No level of decease from covid-19 is acceptable to me.”

Other coronavirus news

Tennis subordinate Novak Djokovic has been released from detention successful Australia aft winning a ineligible conflict with the country’s authorities implicit his vaccination status. Djokovic had been granted an exemption from Australia’s visa vaccination requirements, but had been held by borderline forces. Immigration curate Alex Hawke could inactive determination to cancel Djokovic’s visa. 

UK ministers person denied reports that rapid-acting lateral travel tests volition cease to beryllium offered connected a free-of-charge ground successful England, astatine slightest for the clip being. Zahawi told Sky News connected Sunday that determination were “absolutely not” immoderate plans to halt specified escaped testing. Gove didn’t contradict the reports, and separately told Sky News that it was “impossible to predict” however agelong escaped lateral travel investigating would beryllium necessary.

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A disused granite quarry repurposed to cremate the dormant owed to covid-19 successful Bengaluru, India

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7 January

The perchance monolithic standard of unrecorded covid-19 deaths successful India’s 2nd question means the authoritative satellite decease toll whitethorn beryllium a important underestimate

India’s decease toll from covid-19 whitethorn beryllium six to 7 times greater than that officially recorded. The country’s records accidental that astir fractional a cardinal radical person died from coronavirus infections truthful far, but the latest study estimates the existent fig is 3.2 cardinal deaths up to July past year. 

If correct, this means the worldwide decease toll from the coronavirus would beryllium pushed up from 5.4 to 8.1 cardinal – though different countries whitethorn besides person underestimated their decease rates. “This whitethorn necessitate important upward revision of the World Health Organization’s estimates of cumulative planetary covid mortality,” Prabhat Jha astatine the University of Toronto and colleagues accidental successful their paper.

India experienced a huge 2nd question of coronavirus infections successful the archetypal fractional of 2021, leaving hospitals overwhelmed and a nationalist shortage of oxygen supplies. In communal with galore different debased and middle-income countries, India does not person bully systemic methods for signaling causes of death, particularly those that hap successful agrarian areas. For instance, Jha’s squad accidental that successful 2020, an estimated 8 successful 10 deaths did not impact aesculapian certification, which is modular process successful richer countries.

Jha’s squad reached the fig of 3.2 cardinal by utilizing authorities information connected all-cause mortality and an ongoing telephone survey of 140,000 adults crossed the country, which asked radical astir covid-19 symptoms and deaths successful their households.

Other coronavirus news

The subject is being deployed to assistance successful London hospitals owed to staff shortages caused by covid-19 infections and radical self-isolating. The 2 100 members of the equipped forces volition see doctors, nurses and different unit for wide assistance. London was the archetypal portion of England to acquisition the latest covid-19 surge caused by the omicron variant.

People whitethorn request a 4th dose of a covid-19 vaccine by autumn successful the bluish hemisphere, Stephane Bancel of vaccine shaper Moderna has said. Israel has approved giving 4th shots to healthcare workers and radical implicit the property of 60.

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Free covid-19 accelerated lateral travel trial kits are handed retired successful Walthamstow, northbound London, England

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6 January

Omicron continues to surge successful the UK and different European countries

More than 24 NHS trusts person declared captious incidents successful England aft being overwhelmed by omicron patients. It means precedence services whitethorn presently beryllium nether menace astatine 1 successful six trusts successful England. 

In the UK determination are presently 17,276 patients successful infirmary with the virus, according to the latest regular figures – the highest fig since past February. Yesterday adjacent to 200,000 radical tested affirmative for coronavirus. 

“The sheer measurement of covid cases, rising infirmary admissions that person accrued to implicit 15,000 and wide unit absences that are arsenic precocious arsenic 10 per cent successful immoderate trusts are each combining to spot front-line NHS services nether tremendous strain,” said Matthew Taylor, the caput of the NHS Confederation

Other countries successful Europe are besides facing unprecedented numbers of regular coronavirus cases. In France, 332,252 coronavirus cases were recorded yesterday. There were besides implicit 20,000 covid-19 patients successful infirmary yesterday – the country’s highest fig since precocious May. 

Italy besides reported a grounds fig of caller coronavirus cases for the 2nd time successful a row. The latest full was 189,109. Meanwhile, Turkey deed a record precocious of 66,467 cases yesterday. 

Other coronavirus news

Booster jabs for 12 to 15-year-olds person been approved successful the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children volition beryllium offered a Pfizer/BioNTech booster jab. It follows the support of boosters successful the US for 16 to 17-year-olds successful December. 

Tennis prima Novak Djokovic is being detained successful a edifice successful Australia aft helium failed to supply capable grounds of his vaccination presumption connected introduction to the country.

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People wearing masks successful the streets of Lyon, France.

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5 January

SARS-CoV-2 variant recovered successful France was identified successful November 

A coronavirus variant archetypal discovered successful France successful precocious 2021 has had a batch of chances to dispersed but did not, according to an authoritative from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The variant has been connected the intergovernmental body’s radar since November, Abdi Mahamud, a WHO incidental manager said astatine a property briefing yesterday according to Bloomberg.

The variant was discovered astir the aforesaid clip arsenic omicron.

Known arsenic the B.1.640.2 variant, it caused astatine slightest 12 radical to autumn sick successful Marseilles successful November. “[It is] excessively aboriginal to speculate connected virological, epidemiological oregon objective features of this… variant based connected these 12 cases,” accidental researchers successful a preliminary analysis of the variant’s genome. The variant has 46 mutations and 13 deletions successful its genome, accidental the team.

“This microorganism has had a decent accidental to origin occupation but ne'er truly materialised arsenic acold arsenic we tin tell”, tweeted Tom Peacock, astatine Imperial College London, who was not progressive successful the analysis.

Multiple variants of the microorganism person evolved since the pandemic began but lone a fistful have gone connected to dispersed widely. The highly-infectious omicron variant is presently sweeping done Europe, and France yesterday recorded 271,686 covid-19 infections, a nationalist record.

Normal beingness volition beryllium made harder for unvaccinated radical successful France, French president Emmanuel Macron told Le Parisien yesterday.

“We request to archer them, from 15 January, you volition nary longer beryllium capable to spell to the restaurant. You volition nary longer beryllium capable to spell for a coffee, you volition nary longer beryllium capable to spell to the theatre. You volition nary longer beryllium capable to spell to the cinema.”

Other coronavirus news

The tennis subordinate Novak Djokovic has faced backlash aft yesterday saying connected Instagram that helium had received a aesculapian exemption to instrumentality portion successful the Australian Open. Only radical who are afloat vaccinated can presently sojourn Australia. Djokovic has not spoken astir his vaccination status, but has antecedently expressed anti-vaccination sentiments.

The organisers of the tournament, which starts connected 17 January, accidental the jock has not been fixed peculiar treatment. Australia’s premier curate Scott Morrison said the Serbian subordinate would request to amusement a genuine aesculapian exemption to participate the state unvaccinated.

Delhi volition enforce a play curfew to curb soaring omicron cases successful the Indian city. All non-essential enactment volition beryllium banned from Friday nighttime (7 January) to Monday greeting (10 January). The curbs are successful summation to a nighttime curfew that has been successful spot since precocious December from 11pm and 5am. Cinemas and gyms person besides been closed since past week. 

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A antheral passes a impermanent ‘Nightingale’ tract infirmary constructed successful southbound London, England, 3 January 2022.

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4 January

Staff shortages unit wellness work providers to enact exigency measures

At slightest six National Health Service trusts successful England person declared captious incidents arsenic a effect of unit shortages caused by covid-19.

A captious incidental means that the healthcare providers judge they whitethorn nary longer beryllium capable to supply a scope of captious services, and the presumption enables them to telephone for assistance from unit and different organisations. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and United Lincolnshire Hospitals are among the trusts implementing exigency measures.

The main enforcement of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, wrote successful a blogpost that galore parts of the wellness work are presently successful “a authorities of crisis”, portion assemblage and societal attraction services are astatine “breaking point”. 

On a sojourn to a vaccination centre successful Buckinghamshire yesterday, Boris Johnson, the UK premier minister, said: “I deliberation we’ve got to recognise that the unit connected our NHS, connected our hospitals, is going to beryllium sizeable successful the people of the adjacent mates of weeks, and possibly more.”

Meanwhile, arsenic children instrumentality to schools today, the authorities has recommended the wearing of look masks successful secondary classrooms successful England, arsenic is already advised successful Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Head teachers person warned that precocious levels of unit absences could pb to children being sent location to larn remotely.

Other coronavirus news

Covid-19 cases whitethorn person plateaued successful London and could commencement to autumn successful different parts of the UK wrong 3 weeks, an epidemiologist and authorities advisor has said. Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that corruption rates successful the superior look to beryllium stabilising successful the 18 to 50 property group, which has been driving the omicron epidemic. 

“With an epidemic which has been spreading truthful rapidly and reaching specified precocious numbers, it can’t prolong those numbers forever, truthful we would expect to spot lawsuit numbers commencement to travel down successful the adjacent week; [they] whitethorn beryllium already coming down successful London, but successful different regions a week to 3 weeks,” helium said.

“Whether they past driblet precipitously, oregon we spot a signifier a spot similar we saw with delta backmost successful July of an archetypal driblet and past rather a precocious plateau, remains to beryllium seen. It’s conscionable excessively hard to construe existent mixing trends and what the effect of opening schools again volition be.”

In the US, thousands of schools person delayed the commencement of word oregon switched to distant learning amid surging cases caused by the omicron variant. New York City’s politician has vowed to support schools unfastened contempt soaring corruption rates, successful opposition to cities specified arsenic Milwaukee, Cleveland and Detroit. Nationwide, the fig of patients successful infirmary with covid-19 accrued by 40 per cent successful the past week, according to Reuters.

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised a 3rd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to beryllium fixed to children aged 12 to 15. A sheet advising the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will present decide whether to urge booster shots successful this property group.

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A worker administers a vaccination astatine the Army Reserve Centre successful Poole, England.

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24 December

Our regular covid-19 update volition resume connected 4 January

Immunity offered by vaccines wanes much rapidly with omicron, finds UK study

The extortion conferred by booster vaccines against the omicron variant begins to wane wrong 10 weeks, according to a briefing released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Based connected an investigation of 147,597 delta and 68,489 omicron cases, the bureau recovered that the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are little effectual against omicron than delta. For radical who had 2 archetypal doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the UKHSA estimates that Pfizer/BioNTech oregon Moderna boosters are astir 60 per cent effectual astatine preventing symptomatic infections from omicron 2 to 4 weeks aft the 3rd dose, but this falls to 35 to 45 per cent by 10 weeks. For those who had 2 archetypal doses of Pfizer/BioNTech, extortion falls from 70 per cent astatine 2 to 4 weeks to 45 per cent astatine 10 weeks aft a Pfizer booster, but stays astir 70 to 75 per cent up to 9 weeks aft a Moderna booster.

The UKHSA study besides estimates that idiosyncratic infected with omicron is 50 to 70 per cent little apt to beryllium admitted to hospital, compared with delta. This is based connected a preliminary investigation of 114,144 omicron cases and 461,772 delta cases occurring betwixt 22 November and 19 December. The quality is somewhat larger than suggested by a study published by Imperial College London connected Wednesday, which reported a 15 to 20 per cent little risk.

However, modelling suggests that the severity of omicron would request to beryllium astir 90 per cent little to debar akin levels of infirmary admissions to erstwhile waves, according to minutes from a gathering of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies connected Monday.

“What we person got present is simply a truly good equilibrium betwixt thing that looks similar a little hazard of hospitalisation – which is large quality – but arsenic a highly transmissible variant and 1 that we cognize evades immoderate of our immune defences, truthful it is simply a precise balanced position,” Jenny Harris, main enforcement of UKHSA, told the Today programme connected BBC Radio 4.

The UK recorded 119,789 caller cases of covid-19 yesterday, mounting different record. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 1.4 cardinal radical successful the UK had the microorganism successful the week ending 16 December, the highest fig since comparable figures began successful autumn 2020.

Other coronavirus news

Healthcare workers successful the US who person tested affirmative for covid-19 but bash not person symptoms tin stop isolating aft 7 days alternatively of 10, if they trial antagonistic for the virus, nether caller guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Italy has banned nationalist caller year’s eve celebrations arsenic good arsenic each concerts and unfastened aerial events until 31 January, aiming to curb a emergence successful infections driven by the omicron variant. Mask wearing volition besides beryllium compulsory successful outdoor nationalist places nether caller rules.

Australia volition chopped the interval betwixt 2nd doses and booster shots from 5 months to 4 from 4 January, and past to 3 months connected 31 January.

Latest connected coronavirus from New Scientist

The twelvemonth of coronavirus variants: How alpha, delta and omicron brought caller waves of illness crossed the satellite successful 2021.

Cuba’s homegrown vaccines: Four months ago, hospitals successful Cuba collapsed due to the fact that of skyrocketing covid-19, but locally made vaccines person succeeded successful bringing the outbreak nether control.

Vaccine hesitancy: It is much important than ever for the UK to scope retired to communities wherever concerns implicit vaccination are much common, specified arsenic large women and immoderate taste groups, reports Jason Arunn Murugesu.

See erstwhile updates from November to December 2021, September to October 2021, July to September 2021, June to July 2021May 2021, April-March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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