More than 10,000 new Omicron cases confirmed in UK

London: The UK has reported more than 10,000 new Omicron coronavirus variant cases as the new variant-related death toll rose to seven.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed on Saturday that an additional 10,059 cases of the new variant, three times as many as Friday and taking the total number detected to 24,968, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country registered 90,418 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, the second time cases have been higher than 90,000, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 11,279,428, according to official figures released Saturday.

The country also reported a further 125 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 147,173, with 7,611 Covid-19 patients still in hospital.

The latest figures came as London mayor, Sadiq Khan, declared a “major incident” in the British capital following a “huge surge” in Covid-19 cases fuelled by the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

A major incident enables different public agencies to cooperate and coordinate more closely, but also acts as a warning that emergency services and hospitals are unable to guarantee their normal level of response due to unusual circumstances.

Khan said in the past 24 hours London had logged more than 26,000 new infections, the largest number since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Meanwhile, leaked minutes of a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said that without government intervention beyond the recently announced plan B measures, hospital admissions in England could reach “at least” 3,000 a day.

The Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in 89 countries and the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to three days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

More than 89 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 81 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 47 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.