First person dies from Omicron variant in UK


Syringes with needles are seen in entrance of a displayed inventory graph and phrases “Omicron SARS-CoV-2” on this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
  • PM Boris Johnson warns the variant now accounts for 40% of infections within the British capital
  • New COVID variant doubling each 2-Three days, minister says
  • Britain urges residents to get a booster as two vaccines not sufficient.

At the very least one individual has died in the UK after contracting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Monday, warning that the variant now accounted for 40% of infections within the British capital.

Because the first Omicron instances have been detected on November 27 in the UK, Johnson has imposed more durable restrictions and on Sunday he urged folks to get booster pictures to forestall the well being service from being overwhelmed.

Visiting a vaccination centre in London, Johnson congratulated these getting pictures and handed out stickers earlier than telling reporters {that a} affected person had died from Omicron which he stated may overcome these inoculated with two pictures.

“Sadly a minimum of one affected person has now been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” Johnson stated.

“So I believe the concept that that is one way or the other a milder model of the virus – I believe that is one thing we have to set on one aspect – and simply recognise the sheer tempo at which it accelerates by way of the inhabitants.”

Requested repeatedly if he may rule out more durable restrictions in England earlier than Christmas, Johnson meandered away from giving a direct reply.

Johnson stated there was a spike in Omicron instances in London, with Well being Secretary Sajid Javid saying the variant was spreading at a “phenomenal charge”.

Johnson, who’s grappling with a revolt in his get together over measures to curb Omicron and an outcry over events at his Downing Avenue workplace throughout final 12 months’s lockdowns, stated folks ought to rush to get booster vaccines to guard “our freedoms and our lifestyle”.

After COVID-19 was first detected in China in late 2019, he confronted criticism for initially resisting lockdown.

He has additionally been criticised for overseeing errors in transferring sufferers into care properties, and for constructing a pricey test-and-trace system that did not cease a lethal second wave.

Johnson has repeatedly stated that whereas errors have been made, the federal government was making selections swiftly within the largest public well being disaster for generations and that his authorities was fast to roll out vaccines.

Greater than 146,000 folks have died from COVID-19 in the UK.

Vaccine queues

As Johnson tries to stem the unfold of Omicron, he faces rising anger from libertarians in his get together over stiffer restrictions and sinking ballot scores.

He has confronted criticism over his dealing with of a sleaze scandal, the awarding of profitable COVID contracts, the refurbishment of his Downing Avenue flat and a declare he intervened to make sure pets have been evacuated from Kabul throughout the chaotic Western withdrawal in August.

An Ipsos MORI survey for The London Night Customary newspaper confirmed opposition Labour chief Keir Starmer’s rating was 13 proportion factors forward of Johnson, the primary time a Labour chief had been seen as a extra succesful prime minister since 2008.

It additionally echoed different polls by displaying Labour up three factors on 39% forward of Johnson’s Conservatives, who have been down one level because the final survey in November on 35%.

Javid stated though simply 10 folks have been hospitalised with the Omicron variant, its swift unfold meant that until the federal government acted the well being service might be overwhelmed.

At St. Thomas’ Hospital Vaccination Centre in central London, a queue of tons of of individuals snaked again onto Westminster Bridge. Reuters journalists additionally documented queues throughout London and in Manchester, northern England.

“The COVID vaccine reserving service is at the moment dealing with extraordinarily excessive demand so is working a queuing system,” the Nationwide Well being Service stated on Twitter. “For all others experiencing waits, we’d advise making an attempt once more later immediately or tomorrow.”

Residence testing kits have been additionally unavailable to order. Johnson stated there have been ample provides.