UK records more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases

by IANS |

London, Dec 4 (IANS) Britain registered 50,584 new Covid-19 infections bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,379,647, according to official figures released on Friday.

The country also reported a further 143 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 145,424, with 7,373 Covid-19 patients still in hospital.

The latest data came as the country confirmed 22 cases of the Omicron variant in England, 29 in Scotland and one case in Wales.

A meeting of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) subgroup on Sars-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 concluded that, if introduced into Britain, the variant would be able to initiate a new wave of infections.

Meanwhile, British officials said that more than half the confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant in Britain have occurred following at least two vaccination doses.

According to a new technical briefing from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 12 of the 22 known cases up to November 30 had been fully vaccinated.

The UKHSA has also released a risk assessment of the Omicron variant, giving the highest "red" alert against the virus for its theoretical ability, based on its mutations, to evade both vaccine and naturally-acquired immunity. It also warns that it could reduce the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody treatments.

The latest figures suggested that one in 60 people in England are estimated to have Covid.

This is up from an estimate of one in 65 in the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

More than 88 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 80 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 33 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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