Britain reports nearly 90,000 daily coronavirus cases - GulfToday

Britain reports nearly 90,000 daily coronavirus cases


A woman receives a dose of the Moderna vaccine at Babington Hospital in Belper on Thursday. AFP

The British government on Thursday reported 88,376 new coronavirus cases, a second consecutive record daily tally, as the Omicron variant fuels a worrying surge in infections across the country.

The latest data takes the total number of infections during the pandemic to nearly 11.1 million, while the UK also registered a further 146 deaths from the virus, taking the death toll to almost 147,000.

England's Chief Medical Officer warned daily hospital admissions could also hit new peaks due to the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

The surge in cases was piling pressure on a health service struggling with staff sickness, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Thursday.

Omicron is so transmissible that even if it proves to be milder than other variants, it could still cause a surge in hospital admissions, Whitty told lawmakers.
The record for the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is 4,583 set in January.

Omicron-UK1 A woman receives a dose of the Moderna vaccine at Babington Hospital in Belper. AFP

"It is possible, because this is going to be very concentrated over a short period of time, even if it's milder, you could end up with a higher number than that going into hospital on a single day," he said.

However, he said vaccinations could cut the numbers admitted to intensive care and shorten the time spent in hospital. On Thursday there were 849 admissions.
Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency, said there were 15 proven cases of Omicron in hospitals, but that the number was likely to be much higher.

Although new cases were at a record high according to official data, Britain did not have mass testing capacity in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the country, and so the scale of infections at that point is unknown.

A senior emergency doctor said hospitals, particularly in London, were struggling to maintain staffing levels due to the number who are having to isolate with COVID-19.

"Even if we are not seeing a big rise in hospitalisations yet, we are already seeing the effect on not having the staff to run shifts properly and safely," Katherine Henderson, an emergency consultant in London and president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC Radio.


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