January 19, 2022

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Britain faces an Omicron wave, nevertheless it’s not clear how unhealthy it’ll be.

Britain faces an Omicron wave, but it’s not clear how bad it’ll be.

With circumstances of the Omicron variant doubling each three days and the federal government doing an about-face on restrictions it had lengthy resisted, Britain is bracing for a brand new coronavirus surge, not sure if it is going to be a comparatively minor occasion or a return to the darkish days of earlier pandemic waves.

Up to now, the variety of Omicron circumstances — 817 confirmed by Thursday, although officers say the actual determine is more likely to be a lot increased — is small in contrast with the daily average of 48,000 new coronavirus cases total. However the authorities’s Well being Safety Company warned that if the latest development price continues, “we count on to see at the very least 50 p.c of Covid-19 circumstances to be attributable to the Omicron variant within the subsequent two to 4 weeks.”

Britain’s expertise with Omicron could also be a harbinger of what others can count on. Till now, it has been looser about social restrictions than many different nations in Western Europe, and Britain ordinarily has intensive journey to and from South Africa, so it might be the primary rich nation to be hit arduous by Omicron. It additionally has one of many world’s most strong methods for sequencing viral genomes, so it may determine and monitor new variants earlier and extra totally than different international locations.

“I believe we’re taking a look at a horrible winter,” mentioned Peter English, a retired guide in communicable illness management, noting the exponential unfold of Omicron.

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