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UK Prime Minster Warns Over Omicron Coronavirus Tidal Wave

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UK Prime Minster Warns Over Omicron Coronavirus Tidal Wave

Senior health officials in the United Kingdom have warned of “rapidly increasing risks” from COVID-19, amid increasing concern over its Omicron variant.

The United Kingdom has moved to COVID-19 alert “level 4,” the U.K.’s chief medical officers and National Medical Director for NHS England Stephen Powis said in a joint statement. As a result, the virus is spread widely and substantial pressure is being placed on health care services.

The prime minister announced that all adults over 18 will get booster vaccines after he declared an “Omicron emergency”.

Boris Johnson said on Sunday evening that the coming wave of Omicron should leave no one in doubt.

According to his statement, the transmission of COVID-19 is already high in the community, mainly driven by Delta, but Omicron has significantly increased the risk to the public and healthcare providers.

Prime Minister Johnson made his announcement on Sunday evening – just hours after a new variant of the Omicron virus prompted the UK’s Covid alert level to be raised to four.

Earlier, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News that there are now “cases in hospitals with Omicron” – and that tens of thousands of Britons could be hospitalized.

Read: Thailand Rules Out Immediate Lockdown Over Omicron Variant

Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK’s Health Security Agency, says a big wave is heading straight for us.

We will likely see a significant number of hospitalizations and possibly even deaths if the severity is even half as great as Delta. Hopkins said the government may have to take even more measures than those being debated by MPs on Tuesday – the measures it took to tighten COVID restrictions last week.

Face masks are already required in most public indoor venues, and an NHS Covid Pass becomes mandatory for big events, requiring a negative test or full vaccination. Employees have been asked to work from home if they can.

According to the health officials’ statement, “it is extremely important that, if you are eligible, you get your COVID vaccine as soon as possible – whether it is your first, second, or booster dose.”