Home Breaking News Likely Omicron cases pass 3,000 in North East as rate mirrors last...

Likely Omicron cases pass 3,000 in North East as rate mirrors last week’s London Covid surge


The latest Government figures show Omicron ‘s spread in the North East continues to ramp up – there could be more than 3,000 cases in our region now.

With a doubling rate of 1.45 – that means the number of positive Omicron cases doubles every 1.45 days – the frightening new Covid variant is set to hit us hard over Christmas.

As of Sunday evening, there were 1,900 confirmed Omicron cases, but accounting for a further 1,140 possible cases the number is likely past 3,000.

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The possible cases are where testing has not found that the “S-gene” known to be missing in Omicron samples – and though other known variants have been ruled out, scientists have yet to undertake the genetic sequencing needed to confirm that they are the new variant.

Our region remains “behind the curve” compared to other parts of the UK – both in terms of the number of cases confirmed and the proportion of those thought to be Omicron.

In the North East, 44.4% of cases are likely to be the variant. That’s dwarfed by the average for England (68.9%) and in particular by what’s currently happening in London (87.4%).

However, just a week ago the case numbers in London were comparable to what the North East has seen in recent days – suggesting again that worse could be coming over the holiday period.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 764 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending December 10 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

This comes amid rumours that a “circuit-breaker” lockdown could be announced – though it’s thought this would likely affect the days following Christmas rather than beforehand.

Over the weekend Government ministers including Health Secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out bringing in restrictions before Christmas Day though.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the arguments for taking action in the face of the spread of Omicron were “very, very finely balanced”.

“We have got cases of Omicron surging across the country now. We have got hospital admissions rising quite steeply in London and the obvious conclusion is that it was right to go fast with Plan B in the way that we did and also right to double the speed of the booster rollout,” he said.

The PM said he would be “keeping the data under constant review”.

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