UK Covid Cases Hit Highest Since January

Story Highlights
  • Britain reports 58,194 new Covid-19 cases on Friday.
  • Cabinet minister Gove says situation is ‘deeply concerning’.
  • 30% of reported cases in London are now the Omicron variant.

London: The U.K. government is considering whether tougher rules are needed to curb a “deeply concerning” new wave of the pandemic, as daily infections soared to the highest level since the start of the year. “We absolutely need to keep everything under review,” Cabinet minister Michael Gove told broadcasters on Friday after he led an emergency meeting with leaders of the devolved U.K. nations.

The meeting was “presented with some very challenging new information” and the country is facing a “deeply concerning situation,” he said. Gove’s warning came as 58,194 new cases were reported on Friday, the highest number since January 9th. The omicron variant was identified in 448 of the cases, compared to 249 a day earlier, and U.K. health officials expect it to become the dominant strain by the middle of December.

Johnson’s government announced a move to so-called Plan B measures this week, including indoor mask-wearing and work-from-home guidance, as omicron spreads rapidly. Certain settings, such as nightclubs or large venues, will be required to check for proof of vaccination or a negative test. The number of people in hospital with coronavirus totalled 7,413, roughly on par with numbers from a week ago. A further 120 people have died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

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