Covid: Omicron may soon cause over half of COVID infections in Europe -EU

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even more Omicron cases have been discovered in England taking the total up to 29.

Another three were discovered in Scotland, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Thursday.

It emerged as European Union’s public health agency said on Thursday that the Omicron variant could be responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months.

It came as annual jabs are likely to be needed for years to come in order to maintain “a very high level of protection”, the boss of Pfizer has said.

Dr Albert Bourla told the BBC that, without vaccines, the “fundamental structure of our society would be threatened”.

Live updates

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Angela Rayner calls for police to investigat PM’s alleged lockdown Christmas party

In a letter, Ms Rayner said that “the guidance from central Government was very clear that large gatherings and parties were explicitly forbidden”.

She asked if Mr Case was considering referring the matter to the Metropolitan Police, and also asked whether he would be investigating the use of Government property for the gatherings.

She also insinuated it could be a breach of the ministerial code.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson did not deny the allegations, while No 10 repeatedly argued that “at all stages the rules have been followed”.

Ms Rayner said: “This Government is undermining public health messaging with their actions and we cannot let this go on unchecked.

“It cannot be that the Prime Minister believes there to be a set of rules for the public and a totally different set of rules for himself.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We have received the letter and will respond in due course.”

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Angela Rayner calls for police to investigat PM’s alleged lockdown Christmas party

In a letter, Ms Rayner said that “the guidance from central Government was very clear that large gatherings and parties were explicitly forbidden”.

She asked if Mr Case was considering referring the matter to the Metropolitan Police, and also asked whether he would be investigating the use of Government property for the gatherings.

She also insinuated it could be a breach of the ministerial code.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson did not deny the allegations, while No 10 repeatedly argued that “at all stages the rules have been followed”.

Ms Rayner said: “This Government is undermining public health messaging with their actions and we cannot let this go on unchecked.

“It cannot be that the Prime Minister believes there to be a set of rules for the public and a totally different set of rules for himself.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We have received the letter and will respond in due course.”

1638469539

Kiss cautiously says Sajid Javid

The Health Secretary has said it has got “nothing to do with the Government” who people kiss, after a Cabinet minister suggested “snogging under the mistletoe” should be minimised over Christmas.

Sajid Javid told ITV News: “People can snog who they wish. I’ll certainly be kissing my wife under the mistletoe – it’s a Javid family tradition.

“It’s got nothing to do with the Government who you kiss or anything like that. But the only thing is just – there’s guidance already out there – just be cautious and enjoy yourselves.”

On Wednesday, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told ITV’s Peston programme that “we should all be trying to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us”.

But she said “snogging under the mistletoe” should be avoided with “people you don’t already know”.

1638469537

Kiss cautiously says Sajid Javid

The Health Secretary has said it has got “nothing to do with the Government” who people kiss, after a Cabinet minister suggested “snogging under the mistletoe” should be minimised over Christmas.

Sajid Javid told ITV News: “People can snog who they wish. I’ll certainly be kissing my wife under the mistletoe – it’s a Javid family tradition.

“It’s got nothing to do with the Government who you kiss or anything like that. But the only thing is just – there’s guidance already out there – just be cautious and enjoy yourselves.”

On Wednesday, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told ITV’s Peston programme that “we should all be trying to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us”.

But she said “snogging under the mistletoe” should be avoided with “people you don’t already know”.

1638466380

Seven more Omicron cases found in England

A further seven cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been confirmed in England and another three in Scotland, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.
It brings the total number of confirmed cases in England to 29 and the total in Scotland to 13.
In England, cases have been identified in the East Midlands, East of England, London, South East and North West.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA, said: “We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.
“Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay.
“A booster dose for everyone over 18 years is now recommended and will be available at a minimum of 3 months from your last primary course jab. Please take up this offer as soon as you are eligible to protect yourself, your families and your communities.

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141 more deaths recorded in highest daily infections figure since spike after Euros in July

The UK has recorded 53,945 new cases of coronavirus – the highest daily figure since mid-July following the European football championship.

The last time more cases were reported was on 17 July, when 54,674 new Covid-19 cases were recorded, six days after the tournament’s final at Wembley.

Today’s figures also showed 141 more deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – compared to 41 on July 17.

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Omicron may soon cause over half of COVID infections in Europe -EU

The European Union’s public health agency said on Thursday that the Omicron variant could be responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months.

“Based on mathematical modelling conducted by ECDC, there are indications that Omicron could cause over half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in the EU/EEA within the next few months,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in a statement.

1638462800

Boris gets a Christmas boost

Uk Pm Receives Coronavirus Booster Jab In London

1638462067

Boris faces difficult questions on No 10 Christmas party as he gets booster

Boris Johnson got his booster jab and said at the same time any Christmas Party No 10 held last year were “in accordance with the rules”.

Asked whether he was holding a Christmas party, the Prime Minister told broadcasters there were events held in Downing Street “the whole time” and added: “We had events for Hanukkah, we turned the Christmas lights on, and all sorts of things in Number 10, and in accordance with the rules as you would expect.”

He told broadcasters, after receiving his booster jab, there has to be a “balanced and proportional approach” to tackling the Omicron variant.

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‘No need for alarm’ about Omicron, claims Stormont

The Stormont Executive has described the emergency of the Omicron variant as a “serious and concerning development worldwide”, but stressed “there is no need for alarm”.

Ministers issued a joint statement after receiving an update from medical and scientific advisers on the latest situation around the coronavirus pandemic.

They said no cases of the variant have yet been detected in Northern Ireland, but added that is likely to change in the coming days.

“It is vitally important that everyone redoubles their efforts to drive infection rates down,” they said.

“The evidence on the new variant is being very closely monitored. And our public health experts will continue to liaise with colleagues in other jurisdictions as the situation develops globally and locally.

“No cases of the Omicron variant have yet been confirmed here, but that situation is likely to change in the coming days. The public will be kept informed and health protection measures will be actioned as appropriate.”

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