‘Very stringent COVID rules' may be required to contain large Omicron wave, warns Sage

Coronavirus guidance on signs in Nottingham,where one of the first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified last week (Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Scientists advising the government on the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have warned of the range of measures that could be required in the event of a “very large wave of infections” and high numbers of people hospitalised by the virus.

Minutes from a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) meeting held on Monday were published on Friday.

In the document the expert panel suggests it is highly likely that the Omicron variant could escape immunity to some extent, but that it is unclear as to how much.

“Even if there continues to be good protection against severe disease for individuals from vaccination (including boosters), any significant reduction in protection against infection could still result in a very large wave of infections,” it read.

“This would in turn lead to potentially high numbers of hospitalisations even with protection against severe disease being less affected.

Watch: Over half of UK Omicron infections happened after two jabs

“The size of this wave remains highly uncertain but may be of a scale that requires very stringent response measures to avoid unsustainable pressure on the NHS. If vaccine efficacy is substantially reduced, then a wave of severe disease should be expected.”

The latest advice has been made public as Boris Johnson continues to state that Christmas should go ahead “as normally as possible” this year.

Speaking during a by-election campaign visit to Oswestry in North Shropshire, the Prime Minister said that people did not need to cancel parties or nativity plays.

The government has announced an accelerated booster campaign and mandatory face masks in shops and on public transport to deal with the threat of omicron. There are also new self-isolation rules for those who have come into contact with an omicron case.

The news came as Wales announced it has detected its first Omicron infection.

Scotland has confirmed 29 cases but Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday she expected the figure to rise “significantly” after several 'superspreader' events – including a Steps concert – were identified as sources of transmission.

As of Thursday England also had 29 confirmed cases.

The Sage report revealed that experts had advised the government to “be prepared for a potentially very significant wave of infections with associated hospitalisations now”.

Meanwhile, scientists at a meeting of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) subgroup on 25 November said Omicron is capable of causing a new wave of coronavirus infections of a “magnitude similar, or even larger, than previous waves.”

In a note from the meeting, released by Sage today, scientists conclude: “We cannot exclude that this wave would be of a magnitude similar, or even larger, than previous waves.”

It added: “Although data on disease severity associated with B.1.1.529 are not yet available, a large wave of infections will be accompanied by a wave of severe cases and the subgroup cannot rule out that this may be sufficient to overwhelm NHS capacity.”

Scientists said it is highly likely that Omicron is a “fit” virus that is undergoing extensive community transmission in South Africa and potentially in other places. But they said there is insufficient data to make comments on the severity of disease brought by the variant.

Many European countries have halted flights from southern African countries; Germany allows arrivals of planes from those countries only if they carry exclusively German citizens, but those passengers now must self-isolate for two weeks once they land. Switzerland has announced 10-day quarantines even for those coming from parts of Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the UK – the first European countries where the new mutant variant was found.

But questions are now being asked as to whether travel restrictions are enough.

Boris Jhnson has accelerated the COVID vaccine booster rollout (Paul Grover-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen suggested that the entire European Union should consider mandatory COVID vaccinations in response to the spread of the “highly contagious” Omicron variant.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDP) said on Thursday: “The presence of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the Omicron VOC indicates a high likelihood of reduction of neutralising activity by antibodies induced by infection or vaccination.”

And on Friday, Oslo health officials confirmed that all 17 suspected Omicron infections contracted at a party in the Norwegian capital were suffered by fully people who were fully vaccinated.

The World Health Organization has labelled Omicron a Variant Of Concern, and has warned that it appears to carry a higher risk of reinfection than previous mutations.

Watch: Do coronavirus vaccines affect fertility?

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Intel might have a plan to keep up with Moore's Law

Intel is a company in a spot of bother: TSMC, Apple, and other rivals are outpacing its chip technology and Moore’s Law – literally created by Intel’s founder – is ... Read more »

Save on TVs, headphones, home appliances and more at Best Buy's Presidents' Day sale

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Presidents’ Day is officially observed on Monday, February 21, but several ... Read more »

I bought dollar store earbuds just to see how good they sounded

I knew when I was standing in the checkout line that the Ear Buds I was buying weren’t going to be good – but I thought maybe, just maybe, they’d ... Read more »

Happy Birthday, Macintosh, you weren't a sure thing

I don’t remember the day the Macintosh launched. On January 24, 1984, I was still in college, consumed with papers, tests, grades, finding a way to speak to that girl ... Read more »

Tidy up your home with this huge Bed Bath & Beyond organization sale—save 25% now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Have a big cleaning project you’ve been meaning to tackle? Bed ... Read more »

Get a souped-up screen for Super Bowl 56 with Samsung TV deals at Amazon, Walmart and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. We’re less than three weeks away from Super Bowl 56 and ... Read more »

Ómicron: Qué hacer si tengo síntomas o soy positivo a covid-19

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Virus Outbreak Asia Ante el aumento de casos que ha generado la variante Ómicron, las autoridades de sanidad de Estados Unidos ... Read more »

The best credit card for travel has a $750 welcome offer and sweet grocery perks

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you sign up for a credit card after clicking one of our links, we ... Read more »

Even more WordPress themes have serious security backdoors

A recently discovered supply chain attack has reportedly left more than 300,000 WordPress sites at risk of attack. Cybersecurity researchers from Jetpack (a security and optimization tool for WordPress) found ... Read more »

Sign up for Crowd Cow meat deliveries and get $100 off your first 10 boxes—here's how

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. There’s plenty of meal kits to choose from, and with current ... Read more »

This epic TikTok sleep hack aims to help you fall asleep in 2 minutes

If you have trouble falling asleep you’re not alone, and right now on TikTok a sleep technique is going viral as a way to help you drop off fast. The ... Read more »

Pufferfish has emergency dental work after teeth grow so big she can't eat

Goldie the porcupine pufferfish was losing weight and was at risk of starving because of her giant teeth. (SWNS) A fish had to be rushed to an animal dentists to ... Read more »

Did eating meat make us human? New research casts some doubt

The findings add nuance to the “meat made us human” hypothesis and may be of interest to people who base their diet on the idea early humans were especially reliant on meat. Read more »

Obsessed with Wordle? Here are 10 similar games to play

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. A few weeks ago, several of my friends started posting strange ... Read more »

The 5 best deals you can shop today from Best Buy, Coach Outlet and Sur La Table

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you’re itching to do some online shopping, we’ve got you ... Read more »

How NASA's space research ends up in earthly products

NASA is best known for exploring space, but the agency’s technology is also touching down on Earth. A new book, called , shines the spotlight on the products that have ... Read more »

Facebook parent Meta creates powerful AI supercomputer

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook’s parent company Meta on Monday said it has created what it believes is among the fastest artificial intelligence supercomputers running today. The social media giant ... Read more »

The best multiplayer PC games 2022: top competitive games to play today

The best multiplayer PC games 2022 has to offer will draw you in, time and time again. That’s how much fun they are. These games will get the adrenaline pumping ... Read more »

HexClad makes our favorite cookware sets, and right now you can get them for 30% off

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. When it comes to cookware, we think HexClad is one of ... Read more »

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope successfully positioned to look back in time

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope has completed its insertion burn at the second Lagrange (L2) point a million miles, or 1.5 million kilometers, from Earth, successfully completing its ... Read more »

Beyond Webb: why NASA's new $10 billion space telescope is just the beginning

We need more light. Having launched on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope is now at its destination and preparing to make some incredible observations, but the race to ... Read more »

New rumors reveal Intel Core i5-12500H and i7-12700H beats out Ryzen 7 5800H in benchmark tests

According to newly leaked benchmarks, the mid-range 12th-generation Alder Lake mobile processors score surprisingly high, just in time for some new gaming laptops to hit the market. The test leaks ... Read more »

New space telescope reaches final stop million miles out

The Associated PressFILE – This 2015 artist’s rendering provided by Northrop Grumman via NASA shows the James Webb Space Telescope. On Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, the world’s biggest and most ... Read more »

Dominic Cummings refuses to meet Sue Gray so PM can't ‘spin his way out'

Dominic Cummings refuses to meet Sue Gray (PA Archive) Dominic Cummings said he won’t meet with Sue Gray so Boris Johnson can’t “invent nonsense and spin it in the media”. ... Read more »

Peter Dinklage blasts Disney for remaking ‘f***ing backwards' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Peter Dinklage has criticised the forthcoming revival of the 1937 children’s film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, calling the story “f***ing backwards”. The actor, who has dwarfism, was discussing ... Read more »

COVID-19 science: Omicron survives longer on plastic, skin than prior variants

© (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANE MAHE) COVID-19 tests are pictured at the NG Biotech factory in Guipry-Messac as France experiences a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases due to the Omicron ... Read more »

Chimpanzee culture ‘more similar' to humans' than previously realised, researchers say

The nut cracker. A chimpanzee in Guinea uses a hammer and anvil arrangement of stones to crack open a nut (Kathelijne Koops, UZH) Human culture is not only complex, but ... Read more »

Dark Souls 3 bug could let hackers seize control of your PC

As if Dark Souls 3 wasn’t already difficult enough, playing it online could open up your computer for malicious actors to swoop in, steal sensitive data, and brick it completely, ... Read more »

Best single-player games 2022: the top games for playing solo on console and PC

Dive into the best single player games available right now for a gaming experience you’ll never forget. These are titles big and small that have managed to not only capture ... Read more »

How to watch The Responder online for free and from anywhere

Night after night, Chris Carson navigates the dark streets of Liverpool responding to emergency calls, but worn down by the stresses of the job and issues at home, he decides ... Read more »

IIT-Guwahati team develops 3D printing tech to cut concrete use by 75%

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a 3D printed urban furniture using construction material made from local industrial wastes.Concrete 3D printing is ... Read more »

3 Questions: Anuradha Annaswamy on building smart infrastructures

Senior research scientist and her team are designing intelligent systems that could someday transform the way we travel and consume energy. Read more »

A new language for quantum computing

Twist is an MIT-developed programming language that can describe and verify which pieces of data are entangled to prevent bugs in a quantum program. Read more »

Astonishment as SNP claims ‘clear signs of Covid recovery' pave way for second independence vote

John Swinney insisted that some sectors are ‘in a stronger position today’ than before the pandemic – Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA Wire Hospitality leaders have expressed astonishment after Nicola Sturgeon's deputy ... Read more »

Meat Loaf's home with wife Deborah didn't pay tribute to music career

After Meat Loaf, whose real name is Michael Lee Aday, sadly passed away at the age of 74, tributes have been pouring in from his followers remembering his incredible music ... Read more »

Meghan King Goes on 'Empowering' Solo Ski Trip to Utah After Cuffe Owens Split: 'Here's to Me'

Meghan King Goes on ‘Empowering’ Solo Ski trip to Utah After Cuffe Biden Owens Split Meghan King/Instagram Meghan King is traveling solo! Last week, the Real Housewives of Orange County ... Read more »

Sarah Palin tests positive for Covid, delaying New York Times defamation trial

Photograph: Steve Nesius/Reuters ‘She is, of course, unvaccinated’, judge says after positive test Former Alaska governor suing newspaper over 2017 editorial Sarah Palin has tested positive for the coronavirus – ... Read more »

Life Sciences Supermind Report outlines proposed solutions to re-imagine the global health ecosystem

Collective intelligence methodology identifies key findings to accelerate the pace of innovation and build health resilience. Read more »

Water seen below polar ice cap on Mars may be optical illusion, scientists say

The extreme conditions on the red planet make the existence of water on its surface unlikely. Scientists now say they have a more plausible explanation, with the sighting in 2018 being put down as a mirage. Read more »

A Minecraft competition inadvertently took a whole country offline - here's how

A multi-day DDoS attack coinciding with a highly-anticipated Minecraft tournament left the entire country of Andorra without access to the internet last week. The DDoS campaign targeted Andorra Telecom, the ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic