Another 12,133 Omicron cases have been recorded in the UK, the biggest daily increase since the Covid-19 variant was detected in the country, taking the total Omicron cases found in the country to 37,101, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
Meanwhile, the UK reported 82,886 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 11,361,387, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the official figures released on December 19.
The number of confirmed cases is down again on Saturday’s figure of 90,418. However, figures are generally lower over the weekend. On Friday, the UK reported a record high of 93,045 confirmed cases.
The country registered a further 45 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 147,218, with 7,611 COVID-19 patients still in hospital.
The latest figures came as British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new variant is spreading “very, very quickly”, even more so than the figures suggest.
The “actual number of infections will be significantly higher than case numbers suggest” because not everyone will be taking a test and there is a lag for people to get their test results back, he said.
Meanwhile, the British government’s advisory scientists have warned extra restrictions are needed “within days” to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by Omicron.
The Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in 89 countries and the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to three days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
More than 89 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 81 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 48 perc ent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.