The United Kingdom reported over 93045 in the country had tested coronavirus-positive in 24-hours, the 3rd consecutive day that the U.K.’s case tally set a record, health officials announced Dec. 17, as the fast-transmitting Omicron variant puts pressure on an administration that has resisted imposing tough rules before Christmas. Previously, the U.K. recorded 78610 COVID-19 cases on Dec. 15 and reported 88376 cases on Dec. 16. A further 146 fatalities with 4-weeks of a COVID-positive test were recorded on Thursday across Britain.
On Thursday, French Republic said it would tighten COVID-related restrictions on visitors arriving from Britain. The move comes after South Korea declared it would reestablish stringent physical distancing rules on 2nd January, more than a month after relaxing them, as the figures of new cases and serious COVID cases spiral.
According to the World Health Organization, so far, the Omicron variant has been detected in at least 77 countries, with several reimposing travel restrictions to stem the spreading of the lethal virus. According to officials, the new variant – Omicron – has eclipsed the highly contagious Delta variant as the dominant version in Scotland and was increasing in many other areas of the United Kingdom, with cases in some places increasing twofold every 2-3 days.
While the effect on the nation’s health system is still unknown, officials cautioned that the sheer number of infections could still be overwhelming. But the U.K.’s relatively high inoculation levels appeared to be limiting coronavirus cases of severe illness and unfortunate death.
World Health Organization Makes Interim approvals for Mix-and-Match of COVID-19 Vaccines
Still, as the country confronts a 2nd consecutive winter season shadowed by the coronavirus, officials refrained from ordering an exhausted public to cancel Christmas plans. At a press briefing on Friday, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said that Omicron infections were rising faster than anything earlier experienced in the deadly pandemic. She added the Tsunami cautioned about a week ago is now starting to strike us.
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued interim commendations for mix-and-match of vaccines from different drugmakers for both the second shot and boosters. Depending on availability, messenger-RNA jabs, such as those produced by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc could be used as subsequent doses after primary doses of AstraZeneca’s vectored jab and vice versa.
Moreover, AstraZeneca and any of the messenger-RNA jabs could also be used after initial shots of Sinopharm’s inactivated jab.
The U.K. officials are counting on immunizations to blunt the Omicron wave, and the health system has significantly expanded a booster drive that is now offering third doses to all adults. Health officials reported on Thursday that over 626000 people in England had gotten a booster shot in the preceding 24 hours.
Booster Drive In Britain
According to the government data, still, less than 45% of people ages twelve and up have gotten a 3rd vaccine shot. In addition, the U.K.’s health Security Agency has cautioned that two doses aren’t able to provide enough protection against illness from the Omicron variant.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said that the Omicron version could rise extremely fast, but its peak will decline rapidly amid booster doses. Moreover, there was a record for top-up jabs with 745183 booster shots being given on Dec. 15.
Boris Johnson, the U.K.’s Prime Minister, has urged people to use caution in the face of Omicron. But Johnson insisted England wasn’t being put into shut-down or lock-downs by stealth after some of his MPs had accused the administration of putting hospitality under an effective lock-down.
Record Highest Number of COVID Cases Reported in New York
On Friday, Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, said that the state reported 21027 new coronavirus infections, exceeding the previous record of 19942 set in January this year. Of approximately 263500 people tested for COVID-19, 7.98 percent were positive for the lethal virus.
Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, activated more than a thousand National Guard personnel to relieve staffing shortages at healthcare facilities, and New York City dispatched health inspectors to monitor compliance with its face-mask and immunization regulations.
According to NYC officials, they’re adding locations and increasing capacity at current places after long rows formed at some spots. Medical officials said the coronavirus positivity rate in the City increased twofold over a 3-day time through Sunday.