Omicron infections in UK rise to 200,000 per day, health agency says

New Omicron infections in the UK stand at 200,000 a day, eclipsing the number of officially confirmed cases, according to an estimate by the UK Health Security Agency.

The new figure, which was revealed by Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons, added urgency to Boris Johnson’s pledge to offer all eligible adults in England a Covid-vaccine booster. 19 by the end of the year.

The total number of Omicron cases, which were confirmed by genomic sequencing, stood at around 4,700 on Monday after 1,576 new cases were recorded. But the UKHSA estimates the actual number of daily infections to be much higher based on its modeling.

As the UK recorded the first death of a person with the new variant, Javid said the NHS had declared Omicron a ‘national incident’, allowing for central coordination of the emergency response from the health services. The new, fast-spreading variant now accounted for 20% of cases in England, while 10 patients were hospitalized after being infected with Omicron, he added.

The NHS will need to distribute 18million boosters to England in less than three weeks to meet the Prime Minister’s target. But NHS leaders have expressed doubts over the extended health service’s ability to meet the target, which will force it to beat its March daily record of 756,000 hits in a single day for the remainder of the world. year.

The government’s vaccine reservation website temporarily crashed on Monday due to increased demand from people for booster shots.

People were also unable to order rapid antigen tests online after the government’s reservation platform was “temporarily suspended to fulfill existing orders,” the UKHSA said. Starting Tuesday, people who have been doubly vaccinated can avoid self-isolation after coming into contact with someone with Omicron if they test themselves daily.

Downing Street’s new goal is for all eligible adults in England to have the opportunity to receive their booster injection before the New Year, either by making an appointment for a jab or by going to a drop-in center. Previously, this target had to be reached at the end of January.

NHS leaders hailed the government’s latest recall deployment target, but warned it would prove difficult for the already stretched health service.

“I would be very surprised if everything could be done by the end of December,” said Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, who added that general practitioners “would make or destroy” the success of the deployment.

Due to the “collapsed” primary care workforce, he added that the government’s goal would only be “achievable” if additional staff were redeployed from elsewhere.

Saffron Cordery, deputy managing director of NHS Providers, which represents NHS hospitals and other services, said it was “unlikely” that all 18 million people would have “actually received” a booster by the end of the year, but added that the campaign to meet the target “would help make significant inroads into those numbers.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organizations in the health sector, said it could also prove difficult to convince the 18 million people of the need for a recall during the holiday season .

In a sign of the potential load facing health services, Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, and Stephen Powis, chief executive of NHS improvement, wrote to senior executives, saying that at least half of medically fit patients to be discharged home but still in hospital due to a lack of community support should be released “to free up the maximum number of beds”. This would be done by working with local authorities, hospices and nursing homes.

The letter, obtained by the Health Service Journal, suggests that, under certain circumstances, hotel beds could be used to free up space.

Pritchard and Powis called for a particular focus on managing oxygen supplies and examining how intensive care capacity can be expanded.

Long queues formed outside walk-in vaccination centers across London as people responded to the government’s call for a booster. Yas Davami, 34, said she decided to endure a four-hour wait at St Thomas’ Hospital on the opposite bank of the Thames from Parliament after being unable to book online.

“I went online and there didn’t seem to be a date until mid-January and everywhere doesn’t offer a date,” she added.

About 650 military personnel will support the fast-track recall program in England, the Defense Ministry said.

The Health Secretary said Omicron accounted for 44% of cases in London, and he expected the new variant to become dominant in the UK capital within 48 hours.

the NHS reported that 397,532 booster shots were given on Sunday, the highest number for a Sunday and 37% more than seven days earlier. Meanwhile, an additional 54,661 people were recorded as having tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24-hour period, up from 51,459 a week earlier.

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