By Chris King • 18 December 2021 • 18:09
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has today, Saturday, December 18, declared a major incident in the capital. With cases of Omicron rising dramatically, Mr Khan said he is ‘incredibly worried’ that the city could run short of key workers in the NHS, police force, and firefighters, if numbers keep going up, and staff absences increase.
“In the last 24 hours, we have had the largest number of new cases since the pandemic began, more than 26,000. Hospital admissions are going up but also staff absences are going up by massive levels, so I have taken the decision, along with our partners, to declare a major incident”, explained the mayor.
Speaking with the BBC, he continued, “The big issue we have is the number of Londoners who have this virus, and that’s leading to big issues in relation to staff absences and the ability of our public services to run at the optimum levels”.
Adding, “That’s why it’s so, so important for everybody who’s eligible to receive the booster, everybody should be getting the vaccines as well. ‘I’m incredibly worried about staff absences in the NHS, in the fire brigade, in the police service, in our councils across London.
With hospitals reportedly close to breaking point, patients could be transferred to other hospitals around the country. Figures published by the UK Health Security Agency showed that from samples of detectable coronavirus cases in the capital from December 14 and 15, 80.8 per cent were found to have S gene target failure (SGTF). This is one way used for detecting a likely Omicron presence in the sample.
Today, more than 90,000 Covid cases were reported across the UK, for the second day in a row. Data reveals the actual figure to be 90,418 new infections in the last 24 hours. This is down slightly on Friday 17, although over the weekend figures tend to drop due to administrative reasons, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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