Health secretary Sajid Javid has told MPs the government is leaving “nothing to chance,” as COVID cases in Greater Lincolnshire on Monday increased by nearly three quarters week-on-week.
Mr Javid told the House of Commons: “The Omicron variant is continuing to spread here and around the world.” There were 90 new cases of Omicron confirmed across the UK Monday, including 64 in England.
It means there have so far been 336 confirmed cases ‚ though experts predict there are many more undetected, with Omicron set to take over from Delta in the coming weeks.
“This includes cases with no links to international travel. So we can conclude that there is now community transmission across multiple regions of England,” said Mr Javid.
The latest COVID stats for Greater Lincolnshire on Monday are:
- 974 new cases of coronavirus with 584 in Lincolnshire, 208 in North East Lincolnshire and 182 in North Lincolnshire.
- No further deaths were recorded in the government figures for Lincolnshire
- Four hospital deaths were recorded in the latest figures
The daily figure is 74.87% higher than last Monday’s 557 cases.
Nationally, 51,459 new COVID cases were confirmed while 41 deaths were also reported.
The government confirmed that from Monday, December 6, anyone above the age of 12 wishing to travel to the UK will need to show a negative pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure.
Under the latest measures, airlines will be required to check for pre-departure tests alongside completed Passenger Locator Forms, and passengers will not be allowed to board a flight without providing evidence of a negative test result.
It comes as Nigeria is added to the travel red list due to 21 cases of the new Omicron variant being linked to the country.
Mr Javid said: “We’re learning more about this new variant all the time.
“Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than for the Delta variant — but we don’t yet have a complete picture of whether Omicron causes more severe disease or indeed how it interacts with the vaccines.
“So we can’t say for certain at this point whether Omicron has the potential to knock us off our road to recovery.
“We are leaving nothing to chance. Our strategy is to buy ourselves time and to strengthen our defences while our world leading scientists assessed this new variant, and what it means for our fight against COVID-19.”
Mr Javid told MPs the government was trying to bring more hotels on board to provide capacity for those self-isolating and hoped to double the number in the next week.
He said tougher action now was hoped to prevent more cases later on. He also promised: “We won’t keep these measures in place for a day longer than we have to.”
Cases in Greater Lincolnshire levelled off to a 5% week-on-week rise over the weekend but had previously jumped 50%.
The weekly total at 5,088 cases was up 5.64% from the previous week’s 4,816.
There were 21 deaths in Lincolnshire compared to 18 last week and 20 hospital deaths were recorded, up from 13.
Mr Javid confirmed the government had now hit a milestone of 20 million booster doses and added there would be further expansion of the programme.
This included 10,000 more vaccinators and 1,500 pharmacy sites across England.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Monday, December 6
162,522 (up 974)
- 108,850 in Lincolnshire (up 584)
- 26,066 in North Lincolnshire (up 182)
- 27,606 in North East Lincolnshire (up 208)
2,517 deaths (no change)
- 1,842 from Lincolnshire (no change)
- 341 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 335 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)
of which 1,509 hospital deaths (up four)
- 932 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up three)
- 45 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 531 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)