Covid Omicron news live: US breaks own record with more than 587,564 daily cases, NHS warned to ‘prepare for the worst’


Related video: WHO warns world faces ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 infections

NHS bosses warn the number of Covid patients in hospitals is set to continue to rise for 10 days before admissions peak, telling health officials to ‘prepare for the worst but hope for the best “.

With the latest data showing there were 11,452 people with coronavirus in hospitals in England this morning – up 61% from last week and the highest number since February 26 – fears surround New Years Friday celebrations continue to escalate, made worse by a shortage of rapid tests.

Earlier, Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted in a letter to MPs that side-stream supplies would continue to be “limited” for two weeks to cope with “huge demand”. He also announced that the government is increasing a pre-Omicron order of 100 million rapid tests for January and February to 300 million per month.

His warning came hours before the UK Health Security Agency announced that there had been another record high number of daily Covid cases reported in Britain, with today’s 189,213 surpassing 183 037 from Wednesday.


No borders in Sydney for New Years celebrations even as cases increase

Sydney, Australia’s worst-hit city, to host New Years Eve with public celebrations as authorities have asked people to come out and enjoy it, even as the city’s Covid-19 cases mount sharply.

The first country to introduce the New Year will have thousands of them out in the open at major port locations to witness the traditional midnight fireworks celebrations as part of a 12-minute fireworks display.

People will line up at the viewpoints early in the day.

This could prove to be a serious threat because the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is considered to be highly transmissible and infects a large number of people.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on people to ‘enjoy the evening’ and New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has said everyone should head out and enjoy the New Years.

As the threat of overwhelming hospitals looms, just over a month after Omicron was announced as a “worrying variant” by the World Health Organization, several countries have resorted to blankets. fires and restrictions to prevent massive spread of infection.

More than 32,400 new cases were recorded in the island nation on Friday, a new daily record, pushing the cumulative number to nearly 400,000. More than 135,000 active cases remain in Australia, of which 127 people are in intensive care, said officials.

Australia has recorded a total of 2,239 deaths from the infection since the start of the pandemic.

Arpan RaiDecember 31, 2021 5:35 AM


CDC warns against cruises: “Chances of having Covid-19 on cruise ships are very high”

The United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has warned people of infections on board and not to go on cruises because Covid-19 infections triggered by the Omicron variant have reached an all-time high in the country.

“The virus that causes Covid-19 easily spreads between nearby people on ships, and the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high,” even though people are fully vaccinated and have received a recall, the CDC said.

The United States saw nearly 600,000 new cases – a world record for daily infections – on Thursday.

More than 90 cruise ships have been scanned for ongoing Covid-19 infections, and the total number of cases was not immediately clear.

It comes as Covid has wreaked havoc around the world with a dominant variant that is highly transmissible as the pandemic runs into two years and hundreds of economies enter 2022 in an unhealthy state.

Arpan RaiDecember 31, 2021 4:07 AM


Government criticized for failing to respond to damning report on Covid

The government has come under fire for failing to respond to a damning report by lawmakers accusing ministers of mismanaging the early stages of the pandemic.

The report, compiled by the health and science and technology committees, found that the government’s initial response to Covid-19 “came back in practice” to the pursuit of collective immunity, with the delayed decision to lock in ranking as one of the ‘biggest public health issues the UK has ever seen’.

More than 50 witnesses contributed to the multi-stakeholder report, including ministers, NHS officials, government advisers and leading scientists, with the authors saying it was ‘vital’ that lessons be learned from the failures of the past 18 month.

Our science correspondent Samuel Lovett has the full report:

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 11:58 PM


Watch: International flights to UK drop 71% from pre-Covid levels

International flights to UK drop 71% from pre-pandemic levels

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 10:42 PM


‘Prepare for the worst’, warn NHS bosses amid rising hospital admissions

The number of Covid patients in hospitals is expected to continue to rise for 10 days before admissions peak, NHS bosses have warned, telling health officials to prepare for the worst.

With the latest data showing 2,082 hospital admissions on December 28, the highest since February, and another record spike in infections on Thursday, NHS chiefs and clinicians fear the spread in wards could lead to epidemics massive numbers of patients and staff.

Meanwhile, there are fears that – in addition to the shortage of lateral flow testing in England – the New Years celebrations on Friday night may also see a further increase in the number of cases.

Our health correspondent Rebecca thomas and scientific correspondent Samuel lovett report:

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 10:11 PM


Ministers call on NHS staff to ‘lead the way’ for Covid testing

The government is facing calls to prioritize NHS staff for lateral flow testing amid the current shortage.

Patrons of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the British Medical Association (BMA), said health workers should come first when trying to access rapid coronavirus tests in a bid to resolve issues of staff.

The BMA said there were more than 18,000 staff absent from acute care hospital trusts in England, either with Covid-19 or because they are self-isolating, adding that they expected that figure will be much higher when the most recent data comes out later this week.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Board of the BMA, said: “Not being able to pass the tests means staff may not be legally allowed to work, and in a time of acute labor shortages and winter pressures, it could be devastating for care who can. be provided throughout the NHS. “

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said he had written to Mr Javid urging him to ensure NHS staff were “in the front row”.

This follows the Welsh government’s decision to loan England 4 million lateral flow tests as ministers scramble to stock up. The full story about it is here.

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 9:59 PM


Opinion: “Questions about the origin of Covid will not go away”

An international conference offering advice on the importance of biosecurity measures, including how to avoid laboratory leaks in research and experiments involving animals, was held this month at an institute of virology – in Wuhan.

The event, announced on the Chinese government-owned lab’s website, did not receive much international publicity. It was however a success, according to the Institute, with more than 200 people – mostly students – enrolling from several countries.

There is, of course, a strong element of irony in the lab accused of being the source of Covid-19, allegedly of manipulating the bat coronavirus, offering advice on safety – just like another strain virulent pandemic is spreading across the world. But then again, it can, for that very reason, be the perfect place to do it.

Read our defense and security editor Kim senguptaI think in full:

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 9:25 PM


Watch: WHO warns world faces ‘tsunami’ of Covid infections

WHO warns world faces ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 infections

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 9:00 PM


UK again breaks daily record for Covid cases with 189,213

The UK has reported a record 189,213 new Covid infections in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

It follows the 183,037 positive tests on Wednesday, just as record.

On Thursday, 332 other people died of causes related to Covid, against 57 the day before.

The news comes amid a shortage of Covid tests in the UK, which has raised concerns about the New Year’s celebrations.

Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 8:56 PM


In pictures: the Covid in the United Kingdom

A construction worker builds a temporary field hospital in the grounds of St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London

(AFP via Getty Images)

People wear face masks when shopping in the rain in Preston


Nurse puts PPE in a Covid patient ward at King’s College Hospital in south-east London

(PA wire)

A man walks past NHS signage near a Covid vaccination center in Preston on Thursday


Sam hancockDecember 30, 2021 8:40 PM


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