UK Records First Death From Omicron COVID-19 Variant
According to BBC, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, announced the death on Monday, December 13 as the country began an ambitious booster programme against the variant.
Johnson was reported to have said the new variant was also resulting in hospital admissions and the “best thing” people could do was get their booster jab.
“Sadly, at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” Johnson, who on Sunday warned of a “tidal wave” of infection from the mutation, told reporters.
Johnson in a TV statement on Sunday evening had said;
I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant Omicron. No one should be in any doubt, there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming.
It is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need. But the good news is that our scientists are confident that with a third dose, a booster dose, we can all bring our level of protection back up.
Johnson said that as of now, scientists were not sure whether the Omicron caused less or severe symptoms than the Delta variant.
However, we already know it is so much more transmissible that a wave of Omicron through a population that was not boosted would risk a level of hospitalisation that could overwhelm our NHS (National Health Service — UK’s public healthcare system) and lead sadly to very many deaths.
Johnson’s comments came on a day when the United Kingdom raised its coronavirus alert level to four — the second highest level.
This corresponds to a stage in the epidemic where the transmission of the pathogen is considered to be very high or rising exponentially. Till now, the UK was on alert level three.
BBC quoted medical officers as saying that hospitalisations from the Omicron variant were already happening in the UK and that these were “likely to increase rapidly”.