By Alex Glenn • 12 December 2021 • 13:04
CREDIT: Martin Sanchez/ Unsplash
First Omicron patients in hospital in the UK.
According to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, the UK now has its first omicron patients in the hospital. The race to get everyone to have their booster shots is on.
The new variant has a shocking rate of transmission as it has “a doubling rate between two and three days,” according to Zahawi.
Zahawi spoke to Trevor Phillips on Sky and explained: “What we know, hence the concern, is that a third of infections in London are Omicron.
“Reported tests are indicating about 1,600 cases, but the number of infections in the community will be multiple that – up to 10 times.
“It’s highly infectious, with a doubling rate between two and three days.
“Very quickly Omicron will be the dominant variant in the UK and probably the rest of the world.
“We’ve seen this movie before with the Kent and Delta variants.
“There are cases in hospital with Omicron.”
It now appears that booster shots will be necessary to keep people protected from the omicron variant.
Zahawi commented: “Is it more infectious, yes,”
“Do the vaccines work? We know now that two doses of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca are not enough – they only protect to around 30 per cent – but the booster does raise that back up to where we were.”
According to government officials, by the end of the year, the UK could see around 1 million cases of the omicron variant.
“We now a have variant so infectious, it will dominate and exponentially grow,” said Zahawi.
He went on to add: “You get to 1million infections by, say, the end of December.
“One per cent [of those infected who suffer severe illness] is 10,000 people suffering severe illness in hospital.
“Three days later its 2m, three days later its 4m, three days beyond that it’s 8m.
“Even if it’s milder by 50 per cent than Delta, the numbers are huge.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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