UK records another 90,629 Covid cases and 172 deaths

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UK records another 90,629 Covid cases and 172 deaths
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A further 90,629 people have tested positive for Covid-19, figures show.

An additional 172 people have died which is more than three times higher than the number of deaths recorded on Monday.

Scotland recorded an additional 5,242 new Covid cases on Tuesday, a decrease from Monday’s figure of 6,734.

Nicola Sturgeon imposed new restrictions for a three-week period from December 27 onward.

Crowds at outdoor public events will be capped at 55, with indoor events limited to 100 people standing or 200 if seated, she said.

Ms Sturgeon said Omicron is the dominant strain in Scotland, accounting for 62.9 per cent of cases this week, and the R number is “well above three”.

Internal NHS documents, seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), said recent modelling predicts the London Ambulance Service, A&Es and the “general and acute bed base are likely to become overwhelmed due to rising Covid demand in the next two to three weeks”.

It said services “are under exceptional pressure given the increased ask being placed on Covid vaccination capacity”, together with social distancing measures in healthcare and usual winter pressures.

On Monday afternoon, Boris Johnson promised to keep the data under constant review “hour by hour” but stopped short of implementing further restrictions.

Following a special two-hour meeting of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister said he had to “reserve the possibility” further action would be needed at some point to curb Omicron.

He said there were still “uncertainties” around the severity of the new strain, the rate of hospital admissions associated with it and its impact on the effectiveness of the vaccines.

“There are still some things that we need to be clearer about before we decide to go further,” he said.

“It is important we act cautiously but it is also important we look after the hospitality industry, the theatres and other parts of our incredible entertainment industry which have suffered and are suffering.”

Mr Johnson said they were monitoring the data “hour by hour” and that the arguments for taking further action were “very, very finely balanced”.

“Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS,” he said.

“We are looking at all kinds of things to keep Omicron under control and we will rule nothing out.”

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