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UK Covid news live: 30% of cases in London are now Omicron as government advised to impose tighter restrictions

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Senior UK public health officials have informed ministers that “strict national measures” must be imposed by December 18 to prevent Covid hospitalizations from exceeding last winter’s peak, according to reports. reports.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, received a presentation from the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) on Tuesday warning that although the new Omicron variant results in less severe disease than Delta, it risks overwhelming the NHS with 5,000 people admitted to hospital one day, the Guardian reported.

Another 633 Omicron cases have been recorded in the UK – the largest daily increase so far for the variant.

The total number of confirmed cases of the Covid variant in the UK is now 1,898.

Live updates

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Those under 40 can now book a jab booster

The NHS has made reservations for booster jabs for those under 40 direct.

The move has yet to be announced, but people as young as 30 have been able to book their third Covid jab,

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Another zinger from Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings, who calls the Prime Minister “the wagon,” says you’ll need a vaccine passport to enter No. 10 after the party charges.

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Modeling suggests Omicron could see hospital admissions double from previous peak

Nearly double the number of coronavirus patients could be admitted to hospital compared to last year due to the Omicron variant, new modeling suggests.

Experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have calculated figures which suggest that a big wave of infections could occur in the coming months if stricter Covid measures are not put in place.

The study predicts a median peak of 7,190 daily hospitalizations in England in the worst case scenario – which could see the variant bypassing vaccines at a high rate as well as low efficacy against the booster variant.

The most optimistic scenario (low rate of vaccines escaping the variant, high effectiveness of boosters) “should lead to a peak in daily hospitalizations of around 60% as high as the peak in January 2021 in England”.

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Over 400,000 booster injections administered in one day

A total of 51,229,132 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been delivered to the UK as of December 10, according to government figures. This is an increase of 21,636 from the previous day.

Some 46,705,196 second doses were delivered, an increase of 31,135.

A combined total of 22,594,743 booster and third dose doses were also administered, a daily increase of 409,760.

Separate totals for booster doses and third doses are not available.

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Over 400,000 booster injections administered in one day

A total of 51,229,132 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been delivered to the UK as of December 10, according to government figures. This is an increase of 21,636 from the previous day.

Some 46,705,196 second doses were delivered, an increase of 31,135.

A combined total of 22,594,743 booster and third dose doses were also administered, a daily increase of 409,760.

Separate totals for booster doses and third doses are not available.

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UK reports 132 more Covid-related deaths

Coronavirus in numbers: cases increase by 54,073

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Dominic Cummings claims PM ignored him when buying antivirals

Boris Johnson’s former right-hand man Dominic Cummings has hit his former boss again. Mr Cummings says the Prime Minister ignored his advice on antivirals and the country was in “the fold of the gods” when it came to Omicron’s hospitalization rate.

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Worst modeling scenarios for Omicron “unlikely”, expert says

The expected number of deaths and hospital admissions caused by Omicron could be “significantly” overestimated if the new variant causes less severe illness than Delta, according to a professor.

Scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have said tighter Covid restrictions may be needed to prevent Omicron from causing between 25,000 and 75,000 deaths in England over the next five months.

But Professor Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said any model is “only as good as its assumptions,” adding that a key assumption in this model is that the severity of disease results for Omicron is the same as for Delta.

“Although we don’t know for sure for a few weeks, indications from South Africa suggest that Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta.

“There is also data not yet peer reviewed suggesting that although Omicron mutations are sufficient to escape the antibody, T cell immunity would be less compromised.

“T-cell immunity is believed to be more important for reducing the risk of serious disease than for reducing milder infections of the nose and throat.

“If Omicron is indeed associated with less severe disease as it is, in my opinion, likely to be the case, then these models would overestimate hospitalizations and deaths, possibly considerably,” he said.

Professor Hunter said he suspected these models “overestimate” the risk of hospital admissions and death and that “worst-case” scenarios are “unlikely.”

He added, “As better data becomes available in the coming weeks, we can expect these models to be refined. “

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UK registers 633 new Omicron cases

The UK has recorded 633 more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases of Omicron in the country to 1,898.

There are currently 1,757 recorded cases in England, 121 in Scotland, 15 in Wales and 5 in Northern Ireland.

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PM faces biggest rebellion as Prime Minister against Plan B Covid measures

Boris Johnson is facing what could turn out to be the biggest rebellion of his tenure, with more than 60 Tory MPs reportedly against imposing additional coronavirus measures.

The Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that he would trigger his Plan B winter protocols in a bid to save the UK time in the fight against the Omicron variant of the virus.

The Conservatives have reacted with dismay to the proposals, with dozens of backbenchers pledging to reject plans to make vaccine passports mandatory for large sites.

Former Cabinet ministers David Davis, Esther McVey, Dr Liam Fox and Greg Clark are among those who have expressed concerns over the intensification of restrictions.

Mr Clark, a former business secretary, said the government “jumped the ball” by choosing to act before more was known about the impact Omicron could have on hospital admissions .

Former Commerce Secretary Dr Fox, speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, said it was “difficult to justify these additional measures”.