The MINISTER has been advised to drop any curbs during Covid’s new year as it appears Omicron is up to 70% less likely to put people in hospital than Delta.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid hailed the encouraging news and told families to enjoy their Christmas safe from the threat of tougher restrictions for now.
Yesterday, saw a record 119,789 new Covid cases – with the total number of Omicron infections now reaching 90,906.
The past seven days have seen almost a quarter of a million more cases than last week. But the latest studies show that the risk of hospitalization with the new variant is 50 to 70% lower than Delta.
UK Health Security Agency figures confirm reports from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh that the strain of the virus is milder. A health official said: “Given that South Africa, Denmark, Scotland and England are all reporting similar findings, that puts us in the same direction.”
Scientists and ministers said they were still awaiting data on how the new variant might affect people over 40 – and were ready to take further action within days if required.
Sources say the virus behaves differently from Delta and infects cells in other parts of the respiratory tract, which could make it less lethal. But they warn that the number of cases could still lead to a large wave of hospitalizations.
The UKHSA study found that boosters were important for preventing Omicron infections – but warned that the protection started to wear off after about ten weeks.
Thousands of people flocked to Big Boost by The Sun Jabs Army event at Wembley Arena yesterday – where former Towie star and now trained vaccination doctor Bobby Norris stabbed Love Island’s Sharon Gafka.
Professor Andrew Hayward, a fellow of Sage and virologist at University College London, said of Omicron’s discovery: “It’s undeniably good news but we’re certainly not out of the danger zone yet.
🔵 Read ours Vibrant Blog for the latest updates
“I think maybe we can downgrade this from a hurricane to a very severe storm.” He also suggests that there won’t be any need for any curbs for nearly as long as before, as the Omicron wave shows signs of rapidly peaking in South Africa.
Despite tougher regulations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as of Gift Day, The Sun understands no decision on England’s squad will be made until at least next week.
Downing Street believes there is room for cautious optimism as millions cut off contact so they can be with loved ones over Christmas.
A Government source said: “There isn’t anything at the moment to justify further restrictions but we are keeping it under ongoing review.
“You’d be better off waiting for the data and sure about tougher demand, rather than acting prematurely and out of proportion.”
Parliament could be summoned as early as Monday to introduce new regulations if ministers believe the situation has changed, but MPs last night urged the Prime Minister to remain calm.
Tory’s foundation curator Michael Fabricant told The Sun: “Boris should continue to stand his ground and ignore Labor taunts to ‘provide certainty right now’ to businesses. in the new year celebration.
“If the Government does carry out their advice, they will have to play it safe and announce tough restrictions.”
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith added: “All data is moving in the right direction. The government made the right decisions, despite the bullying efforts.”
Labor leaders have been isolated in calling for further restrictions – after the party’s mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham backed the Prime Minister’s stance.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4332430/ministers-urged-rip-up-new-year-covid-curbs-omicron/ Ministers call for removal of Covid New Year curbs as people with Omicron are 70% less likely to need hospital