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Weekly Covid cases hit 4.3m high but ‘encouraging’ data shows London ‘past peak’

COVID cases rose to 4.3 million in the UK last week – but London is showing “welcome” signs as cases drop.

The capital saw an outbreak of Omicron infections in early December, becoming the country’s variant epicenter, but now appears to have peaked.

Cases increased last week but there are signs in new data London's Omicron wave has peaked

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Cases increased last week but there are signs in new data London’s Omicron wave has peakedCredit: LNP
Cases have increased but not at the rapid rate we have seen throughout December

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Cases have increased but not at the rapid rate we have seen throughout December

The latest Office for National Statistics shows an increase of 600,000 cases in the UK compared with the week leading up to the New Year.

Around one in 15 people were infected with the virus in the UK up to January 7.

But the drop in infections in London is a promising green bud, just weeks after the variant became available in the country.

Yesterday, the latest Government data showed London recorded 12,309 new cases – the lowest in a month.

Sarah Crofts, Head of Analytical Outputs for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “It is encouraging that infections in London have fallen in the most recent week.

“Infections have increased across all other parts of the UK, with the exception of the East of England, where the trend is uncertain.

“Monitoring this situation is very important during this period of high infection.”

A string of active research showed that Omicron was milder than other strains in the vaccine, with data showing that the risk of hospitalization was 50 to 70% lower than Delta.

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 additional vital vaccines in the UK’s arms to stem the need for any new restrictions and protect the NHS.

More than 1.2 million booster appointments are still available this week, as Britons have been urged to be fully protected.

NHS national chief medical officer, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “There’s no reason not to boost your protection with more than 1.2 million vaccination appointments this week.

“We know that about a fifth of people who have had the first two doses and are eligible for a booster are still unprotected but don’t have the time or reason to delay.

“If you’ve been on hold, now’s the time to book ahead and get a boost – it’ll protect you and make sure you get maximum protection from Omicron and protect the people you love.”

Although cases are increasing rapidly, thankfully hospitals are not seeing the same level of hospitalizations as last winter.

But some trusts have declared serious incidents and called for help from the military in two regions, as employee illnesses and infections grow.

Yesterday, the number of Covid cases fell 45% in a week with other signs that the Omicron outbreak was on the rise.

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Further 120,821 infections were announced on Tuesday afternoon of the UK Health and Security Service (UKHSA), compared to record high 218,724 reported seven days ago.

The January 4 data includes additional unreported cases and deaths from Northern Ireland and Wales over the bank’s New Year holiday.

However, yesterday’s figures still mark a major drop in the case of weekly numbers, suggesting the country may be past its peak.

However, the death toll in the past seven days (1,660) is 81% higher than the previous week.

Mortality rates and hospital admissions are always behind the spike in cases.

The number of deaths this winter has yet to reach the peak of previous waves, although the number of Omicron cases spiked during the festival period.

But yesterday’s death toll was the highest since February 2021, as were hospital inpatients.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health England in London, said officials were starting to see a drop in Covid-19 prevalence in the capital.

“We think we may have passed or are at the peak,” he told Sky News on Sunday morning.

“Data from ONS [Office for National Statistics] suggests that the peak may have occurred on or around New Year’s Eve and we are seeing overall citywide case rates and community infection rates fall. ”

“Remember that the level of infection is still very, very high… Which means we are not yet out of this critical phase of the pandemic, even though we may have passed the peak.”

Professor says Britain could be the first country out of the pandemic after deploying boosters

https://www.the-sun.com/health/4447139/covid-cases-peak-infection-levels-uk/ Weekly Covid cases hit 4.3m high but ‘encouraging’ data shows London ‘past peak’

PaulLeBlanc

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