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Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Plan D: UK Gov't Reportedly Mulls Closing Pubs, Cafes If Hospitals Are Overwhelmed Amid Omicron

© REUTERS / MAY JAMESAmbulances are seen in front of St Thomas' Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, December 12, 2021
Ambulances are seen in front of St Thomas' Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, December 12, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.12.2021
New coronavirus plans are reportedly being forged in Downing Street amid public outcry over reports that members of the UK government enjoyed Christmas gatherings back in 2020 in the middle of a strict lockdown.
A so-called "Plan D" of coronavirus measures could envisage pubs and restaurants closing in the United Kingdom in the event of the public healthcare system being overwhelmed amid the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, The Mirror reported.
Hardly had the UK prime minister introduced the "Plan B" restrictions that are currently in place (among them mandatory face masks in public indoor places and COVID passes for entering venues with large crowds), when officials began brainstorming fresh plans for restrictions.
Whitehall insiders told The Mirror that there is a "Plan C" being mulled in the government and "an even more draconian Plan D" that could see hospitality firms only being allowed to serve outdoors and potentially being locked down in the event of a case surge. The latter, according to some reports, could be up to one million Omicron cases by the end of December. Currently, there are around 1,900 Omicron cases in the country.
The purported Plan C only envisages NHS COVID app check-ins for people going to pubs and restaurants.
However, officials told the outlet that at this point, there is no Plan C or any other scenarios going further into the alphabet. When asked about whether there is any document in regard to Plan C, the official government spokesperson said: "Not that I'm aware of", according to The Mirror.

"As a responsible Government, of course, you would expect us to... we have an array, already, of options available to us in terms of what measures we can take to mitigate a growth of any variant or virus", he continued. "But there are no plans to go beyond that currently."

Reports of additional coronavirus restrictions being brainstormed by the UK government come as Downing Street is fending off public outcry that followed reports of a clandestine Christmas party back in 2020 in breach of the COVID lockdown.
Reported Christmas gatherings were even welcomed by Boris Johnson himself, who was said to have hosted a quiz from Downing Street for staffers. A government spokesperson told the media that "this was a virtual quiz", and Downing Street staffers "were often required to be in the office to work on the pandemic response so those who were in the office for work may have attended virtually from their desks".
Amid the massive criticism that the government faced after the reports emerged, the UK prime minister ordered to launch an investigation into the allegations.
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