UK hikes virus alert stage as omicron variant surges | Well being and Health


People wear face covers as they walk through Westminster in London on Thursday December 9, 2021. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. He is again urging people to work from home and demanding COVID-19 passports to get into nightclubs and major events.

Frank Augstein – employee, AP


LONDON (AP) – The UK government raised the country’s official coronavirus threat level on Sunday, warning that the rapid spread of the variant of Omicron had pushed Britain into risky territory.

Chief Medical Officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said the emergence of the highly transmissible new strain “adds an additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare sectors at a time when COVID-19 is already widespread added “. They recommended increasing the warning level on a 5-point scale from 3 to 4. The top level, 5, indicates that authorities believe the health system is about to be overwhelmed.

Doctors said early evidence shows that Omicron spreads much faster than the currently dominant Delta variant and that vaccines offer less protection. British officials say Omicron will likely replace Delta as the dominant strain in the UK within days.

“The severity data will become clearer in the coming weeks, but hospital admissions through omicron are already happening and these are likely to increase rapidly,” they said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to make a statement on TV on Sunday evening regarding the coronavirus situation in the UK and the booster vaccination.