Scientists welcome signs that Omicron may be flattening in the capital, as the Prime Minister said last night that the UK will “ride out” the pandemic storm without any further stringent restrictions.
Yesterday, the number of new cases fell by about a fifth from a daily peak of nearly 28,000 on December 22, helped by a marked reduction in social mixing during the Christmas period.
In London, the number of admissions rose by only 18 per cent in the week to January 2, against an 85 per cent increase across the rest of England, with growth rates highest in the north-east.
Cases amongst younger people have fallen by more than a third since the variant’s peak in the build up to Christmas, when London was hit the hardest in the country.
Neil Ferguson, professor of epidemiology at Imperial College London, said he was “cautiously optimistic” that infection rates among the under 50s in London “have plateaued”. But he said it was “too early to say” whether infections were falling in the capital, as reported by the Financial Times.
“With an epidemic that has been spreading so quickly, reaching such high numbers, it can’t sustain those numbers forever so we would expect to see case numbers start to come down . . . they may be already coming down in London,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.
The variant was first identified in South Africa in late November, and has swept across the world.