‘Majority’ of London Covid-19 cases are Omicron, Chris Whitty warns

Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, has confirmed most coronavirus infections in the capital are now due to the Omicron variant of the disease.
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The “majority of cases” of Covid-19 in London are Omicron, the UK’s top doctor has said.

Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer (CMO), has confirmed most coronavirus infections in the capital are now due to the Omicron variant of the disease.

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Speaking at a press conference alongside the prime minister Boris Johnson and NHS England primary care director Dr Nikita Kanani on Wednesday, December 15, Prof Whitty also said Covid rates were beginning to increase, “in some places” and especially in the London area.

He said: “When it comes to hospitalisations, this always reflects where we were two or more weeks ago and therefore the rates have remained reasonably flat over quite a while.

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“[It is] reflecting where we’ve been with Delta over the last several weeks, so rates are currently flat but they are beginning to increase in some places particularly in London.”

Prof Whitty said data on deaths did not yet reflect infections from the spread of Omicron, and added: “Deaths of course reflect what happened even earlier in time and those are still - if anything - going down very slightly.

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“In London now the majority of cases are going to be Omicron and therefore that is going to be where we will be.

“From the time we get to probably Christmas onwards, I would expect most cases going to hospital to start being Omicron cases.”

It comes as the government encouraged caution around socialising and advised people to prioritise the interactions which are most important to them.

Prof Whitty also addressed a parliamentary committee on health earlier today and reemphasised his advice to limit social interactions.

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And Dr Kanani urged people to take up their booster jabs as soon as possible and to volunteer to help the NHS with the vaccination rollout, pleading: “We need your help.”

While six out of ten of the local authority areas in the UK with the fastest growing rates of Covid are now in London, figures have revealed.