Covid-19: Major Omicron wave expected in January
The UK should brace itself for a wave of Omicron infections in the new year if further restrictions are not enforced, according to a new study of the variant’s spread.
The new variant could result in 25,000 to 75,000 deaths by the end of April, depending on how well vaccines work against the virus, scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM),
The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, used new modelling from experimental data to analyse how Omicron could spread and found the virus could potentially result in more cases and hospitalisations than in January 2021 if additional restrictions are not brought in.
The forecast comes as another 633 new cases of Omicron have been reported – marking the biggest daily increase since the new variant has been detected in the UK – and fears that the real number is higher still.
Confirmed cases of Omicron cases in the UK has now reached 1,898, according to the UK health security agency.
Researchers said that a high uptake of the booster jab would likely help slow the spread of the wave but warned that stricter restrictions may need to be called for to prevent hospitals becoming overwhelmed.