PANDEMIC – Faced with the strong surge of the Omicron variant, the British Prime Minister announced on Sunday a strong acceleration of the vaccine booster campaign to counter it while the Covid alert level was raised from three to four.
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“No one should doubt it: there is an Omicron tidal wave coming”. Fearing that “it is now not clear that two doses of vaccine are not enough to provide the level of protection we all need”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised address on Sunday that everyone over 18 in England could receive a third dose of the vaccine by the end of December, a month earlier than originally planned.
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Omicron variant: the planet on alert
For their part, health officials announced earlier on Sunday to raise the Covid alert level due to a “rapid increase” cases of the Omicron variant.
“Widespread pressure on health services”
The level changes from three to four, which is the second highest level and indicates that “transmission is high and the pressure on health services is widespread and significant or increasing”. “Early evidence shows that Omicron spreads much faster than Delta and that vaccine protection against symptomatic diseases of Omicron is reduced.”, they point out.
Although the severity of Omicron is not yet known and “will be clearer the next few weeks”, they note that there is “already” hospitalizations due to Omicron and that it is “probable” than their number “increase quickly”.
The Ministry of Health also announced on Sunday that from Tuesday fully vaccinated contact cases of people testing positive for Covid-19 will also be requested to perform antigenic tests daily for seven days. Those who are not vaccinated must remain isolated for ten days.
These announcements come in addition to new measures presented by Boris Johnson, including the return to telework and the introduction of the health passport in certain places, measures which will be submitted to the vote of the deputies on Tuesday.
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