Covid cases back over 1 million for first time in weeks – as new Omicron variant 'runs rife' | The Sun

COVID cases have risen above one million again in the UK, new data has revealed.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that cases has risen in the West Midlands, London and across the South of England.

It comes after health chiefs yesterday warned that a new variant could drive a surge in cases.

The BQ1 Omicron offshoot is now dominant and makes up 50.4 per cent of infections, compared to 39 per cent last week.

However, millions of Brits are now protected from a huge vaccine rollout and immunity from prior infections.

Cases are still lower than they were this time last year when Omicron first burst onto the scene.

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This time last year, daily cases sat at over 53,000, with over 140 deaths being reported.

The latest data from the government suggests that at present, there are around 3,000 cases a day with around 4,000 in hospital.

NHS figures also suggest a small rise in the number of people testing positive for Covid in hospital – with 4,964 cases reported as of November 30, up eight per cent on the previous week.

Sarah Crofts, Deputy Director for Covid-19 Infection Survey Analysis today said that the data would be monitored carefully in the run up to Christmas.

She added: "After a recent period of decline, we are once again seeing infections begin to rise in England. 

"Though Wales has seen continued decreases in positive cases, the trend is uncertain for the rest of the UK."

Cases are up six per cent on last week, when 972,000 Brits tested positive.

The data shows that in England, one in 60 people currently have the bug.

In Wales this is one in 75 people and the experts said figures released today includes all variants currently in circulation.

Dr Mary Ramsay, director of public health programmes at the UKHSA urged people to get their booster jabs, as she warned "we would expect to see the prevalence of Covid and other winter viruses begin to increase as people mix more indoors".

"This is what the data is beginning to show," she added.

"Covid hospitalisations are highest in the oldest age groups, so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible comes forward to receive their booster jab.

"While Covid-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities."

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All people aged 50 and over are able to book their autumn booster jab, providing they had their last dose at least three months ago.

Doses are also available to frontline health and care workers, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system.

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