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Cobra meeting held today after Covid surge – follow live

Cobra meeting held today after Covid surge - follow live
Latest coronavirus updates as they happen

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Javid refuses to rule out further Covid restrictions before Christmas-.mp4

Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay will chair a meeting between the government’s emergency Cobra committee and the leaders of the devolved nations at 5pm today.

Confirmation of the meeting came shortly after the Health Security Agency announced 12,133 additional cases of the Omicron variant had been reported across the UK. It brings the total of confirmed Omicron cases in the UK to 37,101.

The total number of daily Covid cases in the UK has, however, decreased in the past 24 hours. A total of 82,886 cases of Covid-19 were recorded on Sunday afternoon. This compares to 90,418 cases recorded on Saturday.

Sajid Javid has refused to rule out further Covid restrictions before Christmas. The health secretary said there were “no guarantees in this pandemic” after government scientists warned tougher measures could be needed before the new year to prevent “considerable pressure” on the NHS as the Omicron variant continues to surge.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he believed further restrictions were “inevitable” a day after declaring a “major incident” in the capital, which he said had seen almost 30,000 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours.

Sage scientists have warned the doubling time of Omicron infections in England was currently around two days – “faster than the growth rate seen in March 2020”.

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Covid: 82,886 people in the UK test positive for virus in the past 24 hrs

The UK has recorded 82,886 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, this is a slight drop in the number of cases recorded.

On Saturday, 90,418 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the UK.

Although there has been a slight drop in case numbers, cases have overall increased by 51.9 percent in the last seven days compared to the previous week according to data provided by the government.

Covid: 82,886 people in the UK test positive for virus in the past 24 hrs

The UK has recorded 82,88 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, this is a slight drop in the number of cases recorded.

Eleanor Sly19 December 2021 16:11
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‘Catastrophic’ if predicted third of NHS staff in London off work by new year

Figures suggesting one in three NHS staff in London could be off work by New Year’s Eve have been branded “catastrophic” by a nursing leader.

The possible staff absence levels were reported by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) as the capital deals with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The strain is now the dominant coronavirus variant in London, and the mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said the surge in cases is “hugely concerning”.

Mr Khan declared a major incident on Saturday, amid fears about staff absences due to the infection in vital public services including the NHS, fire service and police.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) said internal NHS monitoring figures seen by the journal showed the number of healthcare staff in the capital absent due to Covid-19 had more than doubled in four days.

One in three of the workforce would be absent by New Year’s Eve if the growth rate continued, the journal reported.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 15:45
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Two more people died with Covid in Northern Ireland

A further two patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland.

Another 1,798 confirmed cases of the virus were also notified by the Department of Health on Sunday.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 15:29
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Clear evidence people are following new Covid rules, says John Swinney

Scotland’s deputy first minister has said there is clear evidence people are changing their activity in response to the new coronavirus guidance.

John Swinney said the spread of the Omicron variant had been “really aggressive” and urged people to take lateral flow tests before attending any large events.

Nicola Sturgeon has asked people to limit socialising as much as possible around Christmas and work from home where they can.

New guidance for retail and hospitality has also come into force, requiring businesses to take “reasonable measures” to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Mr Swinney said: “I think it’s pretty clear that people in Scotland are changing their patterns of activity as a consequence of the seriousness of the threat that we face from Omicron.

“The regulations came into place on Friday morning and it’s very clear and noticeable that people are following many of these restrictions.”

Good progress was being made with the vaccine booster programme, he said.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 15:10
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Scotland records further 5,924 Covid cases and one new death

Scotland has recorded one new coronavirus death and 5,924 new positive cases within the past 24 hours.

Registry offices are generally closed at weekends, affecting the numbers of deaths recorded.

It brings the Covid-19 death toll in Scotland under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 9,781.

The test positivity rate stood at 13.9 per cent in Sunday’s figures, up from 12. per cent on Saturday.

There were 504 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, of which 38 were in intensive care.

A total of 4,371,171 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccines, while 3,991,879 have received their second dose and 2,501,033 have received a third dose or booster.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 14:57
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Cobra meeting to be held later today

Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay will chair a meeting between the government’s emergency committee, Cobra, and the leaders of the devolved nations at 5pm today.

Confirmation of the meeting comes shortly after the Health Security Agency announced that 12,133 additional cases of the Omicron variant had been reported across the UK.

This brings the total of confirmed Omicron cases in the UK to 37,101.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 14:32
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UK cases surge as 12,133 additional Omicron cases confirmed

The UK has recorded 12,133 more cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, a 21 per cent jump on a day earlier.

The total number of Omicron cases is now at 37,101.

10,059 cases of the variant were recorded on Saturday.

Covid: UK cases surge as 12,133 additional Omicron cases confirmed

The UK recorded 12,133 more cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus on Sunday, a 21 per cent jump on the day before.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 14:30
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UK records further 12,133 Omicron cases

The UK has recorded a further 12,133 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

This takes the total to 37,101.

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 14:15
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Boosters hit record as NHS hails ‘Super Saturday’

Booster jabs given in England have hit a record high, with more than 830,000 administered on Saturday.

A record 906,656 vaccine doses were given in total, including first and second jabs, NHS England said.

Of those, 830,403 were booster jabs.

A rate of around one million a day is needed if every adult is to be offered a booster jab by the end of the year.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS vaccination programme, urged people to keep up the enthusiasm and get their jabs.

She said: “With the highest ever number of boosters and vaccines recorded on ‘Super Saturday’, and the NHS Covid vaccination programme delivering a string of records already this week, millions more people are getting their protection from the virus.

“I want to say a huge thank you to NHS staff and volunteers who are working flat out to vaccinate people in the run-up to Christmas, and it’s great to see that their efforts have been matched by the public’s willingness to get protected.

“From large centres to small community pharmacies, the whole country is pulling together to get everyone jabbed.

“And with Omicron spreading quickly it’s vital we keep that enthusiasm going – and as long as people continue to come forward, the NHS will be there to get them vaccinated – so the NHS message is clear, book your booster today to guarantee your vital and lifesaving jab.”

Chiara Giordano19 December 2021 13:55
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Clear evidence people are following new Covid rules – Swinney

There is clear evidence people are changing their activity in response to the new coronavirus guidance, John Swinney has said.

The Deputy First Minister said the spread of the Omicron variant had been “really aggressive” and urged people to take lateral flow tests before attending any large events.

Nicola Sturgeon has asked people to limit socialising as much as possible around Christmas and work from home where they can.

Neil Pooran reports:

Clear evidence people are following new Covid rules – Swinney

The Deputy First Minister said the spread of the Omicron variant had been ‘really aggressive’.

Eleanor Sly19 December 2021 13:40