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OMICROM: Winter could be as bad or worse as last Covid peak

Scientists have warned that the impact on the NHS could be as bad or worse for the NHS than the second coronavirus peak last winter.
Even if the super-mutant strain is weaker than its predecessors, they have warned that the oncoming Omicron wave might be as severe as or worse for the NHS than the second coronavirus peak last winter. Real-world data suggests highly-evolved variant is three-and-half times more likely to infect people than the currently dominant Delta variant.
Real-world data suggests the highly-evolved omicron variant is three-and-a-half times more likely to infect people than Delta because of its combination of vaccine  antibody escape and increased infectiousness.

Based on how quickly it is overtaking Delta in the South African centre, Professor Hunter believes it will become the dominant variant 'probably within the next weeks or a month.'

Of the fortnight since it alerted the world to Omicron's presence on November 24, there has been a dramatic surge in infections in South Africa. Yesterday, there were 11,125 instances, a fivefold increase in a week.

Doctors in South Africa have emphasised that most people have very moderate symptoms, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading Covid expert in the United States, saying todaythsi Monday  that it 'doesn't appear to be of tremendous severity.'

However, British scientists, including those employed by the government, have warned against the notion that it is a lesser strain, warning that because it might infect more people, it could put enormous load on the NHS.

For another two weeks, scientists will not know the full extent of Omicron's infectiousness, vaccine evasion, or fatality until they can isolate the virus in a lab, analyse its biology, and test it against vaccinations.

Masks are required in stores and on public transportation in the United Kingdom until the New Year, as policymakers strive to fight off calls for stricter regulations in the run-up to Christmas.

It comes as families detained in red-list countries may have to wait until 2022 to return home, with no quarantine hotels available for a party of two adults and two children for the rest of this month at London Heathrow.

Heres what Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to say on a visit to Merseyside.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab yesterday urged people to press ahead with their plans for the festive season, saying it was 'going to be a great Christmas'.

Boris Johnson is due to give an update on the Omicron situation in two weeks' time, where he will reveal if Christmas we were alll hoping for -  can still go ahead.

It comes as families detained in red-list countries may have to wait until 2022 to return home, with no quarantine hotels available for a party of two adults and two children for the rest of this month at London Heathrow.
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