OMICRON’s grip on London – which saw the most cases as the variant began to spread across the country – may have peaked.
Analysis of infections in the week before Christmas shows that the increase is beginning to subside.
About 30,000 people in London tested positive on December 20, before the number started to decline.
This continued for the next two days, forcing the average infection rate down, with cases now falling in some counties.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get vital additional vaccines in the UK’s arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.
The most recent case data, from 27 December, shows around 5,000 Londoners have tested positive, although the set is still incomplete.
Some experts have warned that London’s figures could be skewed as fewer tests were carried out on Christmas, saying it could rise again after families and friends join the festivities. .
And while they may be leveling off, infection rates are still the highest seen since the pandemic.
But as Omicron held its first in London, how cases rose and fell was a good indication of how the rest of the country would perform with the variant.
It is possible that the rapid rise of the mutation variant in the capital, could also be rapid collapse – meaning the UK could emerge from its limited fear sooner than thought.
Omicron’s hospitalization and death rates are still low compared to the Alpha that occurred last winter, which is also a promising sign of things to come, if the data stays at this level.
Professor Peter Openshaw, an immunologist at Imperial College London and SAGE scientist, tell MailOnline: “There are many reasons for the apparent decline, a real decline being among them.”
“I hope this is good news, but really caution is needed.”
However, he warned, the backlog of Christmas and New Year partying could lead to another wave of cases in London.
Professor Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, added that it was “very difficult to say” if cases peaked in London, as testing patterns changed over Christmas. born.
But he said: “The London cases will certainly start to decrease eventually, as the virus runs out of people to infect.
“It’s clearly logical that the number of cases in London is at least growing more slowly, but we just can’t be sure when the peak will be reached – not yet anyway.”
It follows a sign last week the growth rate of Omicron plummeted in London.
The Promising news was shared by mathematician Alex Selby, who used the daily rate until December 16 to create the chart.
The London rate line started high, rose, and then very clearly fell over a two-week period.
“We’re looking at what we can infer from the published Omicron rate combined with the daily case count,” he wrote.
“If the case count is correct, the *growth* in new cases per day of Omicron in London has crashed – i.e. new cases are almost flat.
“There’s still a LOT of new cases every day but if there’s really no increase in new cases that’s very encouraging.”
He suggested that the change in rates – which is different from the number of detected cases, which are still very high – could be due to people changing behaviour.
In an attempt to save the Christmases family, Londoners may have locked their doors to avoid catching the bug.
Or they become infected with Omicron and self-isolate, thus preventing any further spread.
This means people don’t see other people as much or go to restaurants and bars, reducing the risk of spreading infectious diseases and demonstrating how outbreaks can be quelled in the bud.
Mr Selby concluded: “The bottom line is that if this is true, then Omicron is still a major threat and hasn’t gone away, but it should at least be somewhat controllable with what we can call so-called voluntary lock.”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/4358513/omicron-peaked-london-cases-flatten/ Has Omicron peaked in London yet? Capital cases start to drop a week before Christmas