- Sputnik International, 1920
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.

Omicron Variant Cases Doubling in UK Every One and a Half Days, UK Health Security Agency Says

© 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, 18.12.2021
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To date, the total number of COVID-19 infections in the UK is over 11 million, while the death toll stands at 147,509 since the pandemic began, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.
New analyses reveal that cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant are doubling every one and a half days in some of the most populated regions of England, including London, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
According to the UK Health Security Agency, in the south west of the country, Omicron rates are doubling every 2.18 days, possibly due to poorer PCR testing.
On 15 December, UK Health Minister Sajid Javid said that the Omicron strain of the coronavirus now accounts for about 60% of all COVID-19 infections in London.
On 16 December, The UK Department of Health and Social Care reported a further 88,376 COVID-19 cases, breaking previous record for the highest number ever recorded since the pandemic began by almost 10,000.
The Omicron strain was first identified in South Africa in late November. The WHO designated the strain as a variant of concern due to its high transmissibility rate.
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