A minimum of one particular person in the UK has died after contracting the Omicron variant as officers warn the brand new coronavirus pressure is spreading at a “phenomenal” price.

As fears of one other punishing wave grip the nation, Britons of their tons of have fashioned queues at vaccine centres to get booster photographs, heeding authorities recommendation.

“Sadly not less than one affected person has now been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed reporters on Monday.

“So I feel the concept that is one way or the other a milder model of the virus – I feel that’s one thing we have to set on one facet – and simply recognise the sheer tempo at which it accelerates by means of the inhabitants.”

For the reason that first Omicron instances have been detected on November 27 within the UK, Johnson has imposed harder restrictions.

On Sunday, he urged folks to get a 3rd shot to forestall the well being service from being overwhelmed as he warned of a “tidal wave” of infections which may overcome even those that are totally vaccinated.

Knowledge launched on Friday showed that vaccine efficacy towards symptomatic an infection was considerably diminished towards Omicron with simply two doses, however a 3rd dose boosted safety as much as greater than 70 %.

Parliament is because of vote on Tuesday on whether or not to implement additional measures, which embrace ordering folks to work at home, put on masks in public locations and use COVID-19 passes for some venues.

‘Doubling each two to a few days’

“It’s spreading at an exceptional price, one thing that we’ve by no means seen earlier than, it’s doubling each two to a few days in infections,” Well being Secretary Sajid Javid informed Sky Information on Monday, including that the brand new pressure accounts for about 40 % of infections within the capital, London. “We’re as soon as once more in a race between the vaccine and the virus,” he added.

On Monday, the pound fell 0.4 % to $1.3225, whereas it was broadly regular towards the euro at 85.29 pence.

In the meantime, the Nationwide Well being Service introduced that the web vaccine reserving system was overwhelmed, suggesting folks ought to return at a later date.

“The COVID vaccine reserving service is presently dealing with extraordinarily excessive demand so is working a queueing system,” the Nationwide Well being Service mentioned on Twitter. “For all others experiencing waits, we might advise attempting once more later in the present day or tomorrow.”

House testing kits have been additionally unavailable on the federal government’s web site.

The federal government needs to supply all adults a booster shot by New 12 months, an bold goal given the Christmas vacation and that vaccinating a million folks per day is sort of double the present 530,000 per day.

Greater than 146,000 folks have died from COVID-19 within the UK, one of many world’s worst tolls.

In the meantime, Johnson is grappling with a riot in his celebration over measures to curb Omicron and an outcry over alleged events at his Downing Avenue workplace throughout final yr’s lockdowns.

The opposition and far of the general public are indignant because the reported events befell when Johnson and his administration have been urging folks to remain at house.

After COVID-19 was first detected in China in late 2019, Johnson confronted criticism for initially resisting lockdown. He has additionally been criticised for overseeing errors in transferring sufferers into care houses, and for constructing a expensive test-and-trace system that didn’t cease a lethal second wave.

Johnson has repeatedly mentioned whereas errors have been made, the federal government was making selections at tempo within the largest public well being disaster for generations and that his authorities was swift to roll out vaccines.