Is Christmas Cancelled Due To The Omicron Variant?

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A new Covid variation discovered in South Africa is spreading over the world, prompting leaders to act quickly. our science journalist, explains what we know about the Omicron version thus far.

The discovery of a new Covid type has sent shockwaves around the world, so a routinely private covid test is very necessary and with politicians scrambling to reopen borders and reinstall steps to prevent the virus’s spread. According to the World Health Organization, Omicron has a very high risk of infection. Its capacity to resist Covid vaccinations is of particular worry, and the CEO of US manufacturer Moderna has cautioned that there will never be a world where vaccine effectiveness is equal to that of the Delta strain.

With just over a week till Christmas and new instances of the Omicron variety appearing every day, there are new fears that the holiday season may be disturbed for the second year in a row. So u have to routinely go for PCR test. Here’s what we know so far about the instances and whether new limitations are required.

How concerning are the figures?

Omicron cases double every two to three days, substantially faster than Delta cases. On Sunday, another 1,239 Omicron cases were recorded in the UK, increasing the total number of cases to 3,137. To put this in perspective, two weeks ago, there were only three verified cases.

Scientists anticipate that by the middle of this month, it will be the dominant variant in the UK. The UK Health Security Agency has predicted that by the end of this month, there could be 1 million infections per day – a higher number than confirmed cases because many people are infected without realizing it – but this is based on simulations assuming no restrictions and people going about their daily lives as usual.

Nonetheless, the rate of transmission is quite alarming, because even if just a small percentage of Omicron patients are seriously unwell, the sheer volume of infections will result in more people being admitted to hospitals and dying than with Delta.

What Is the Severity of The Cases?

Two weeks after the first cases were verified, there are people in hospital with the Omicron variant in the UK for the first time. However, this is only a small percentage of the total population of over 3,000, which is reassuring thus far.

It’s also unclear whether the Omicron version was the reason for their admission or if they were admitted for another reason. We have no idea if they’ve been vaccinated or how old they are.

It’s too early to say whether Omicron produces significantly less severe disease than Delta until these kinds of facts are known. For the past three weeks, there have been repeated reports in South Africa that people admitted to hospitals with Omicron had less severe disease and require less oxygen.

However, because the initial instances are more likely to be younger, because they are more active in a population, and because people end up in hospital for two to three weeks, it is not yet possible to infer that this is a “milder form.”

Will The Omicron Wave Cause the NHS To Become Overburdened?

This is dependent on four factors: how mild Omicron is compared to Delta, how quickly the booster can be deployed, how effective the current Plan B limits are at reducing daily case numbers, and whether there are new “Plan C” measures that go even farther. Even if Omicron was half as severe as Delta, with 10 persons admitted to the hospital opposed to 20, the enormous number of instances would result in more patients being admitted to the hospital overall.

In the worst-case situation, more than 7,000 admissions per day are expected, nearly doubling the previous high.

After new information showed that two injections were not enough to prevent people from becoming infected with Omicron, the government plans to speed up the delivery of booster shots. Plan B measures, including working from home, will go a long way toward reducing transmission, but even stricter limits under Plan C would have a greater impact.

Will Christmas be ruined, and will there be a Plan C?

Currently, the government has no intentions to prohibit households from mixing during the holiday season, but this cannot be ruled out, especially if there is evidence that Omicron is not considerably less severe than Delta.

Plan C measures like as 10-day isolation for all covid case contacts, additional masks in indoor places, check-ins and table service exclusively in hospitality settings are likely to be implemented within weeks, if not days. However, this would still allow families to mix throughout the holidays.

A ban on household mixing, or even a full lockdown, could be introduced if the Omicron severity data worsens and the NHS is at risk of breaking point, but this is likely to be after Christmas, if at all.

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