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Daily confirmed COVID cases in UK exceed 100,000

The UK has reported more than 100,000 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since mass testing was rolled out.

A total of 106,122 new infections were recorded on Wednesday, according to official government data.

Daily cases have been climbing at speed since the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is significantly more transmissible than previous strains. 

The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases is 59% higher than this time a week ago.

Infection rates are highest in London, which has been hit hardest by the Omicron outbreak so far.

Read more: 15 COVID hotspots as cases explode in London

Daily confirmed cases in the UK for 22 December
Daily confirmed COVID cases in the UK

Boris Johnson has reassured people that no further curbs will be introduced in England before Christmas Day despite the rising COVID cases.

He said on Tuesday that there was currently not enough evidence on the severity of the Omicron variant and hospital admission to justify stricter measures.

On Wednesday, two studied were published suggested that Omicron is less likely to cause hospitalisations than Delta, but that the sheer number of Omicron cases means the NHS is still at risk of being overwhelmed.

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said of his team’s research: “Our analysis shows evidence of a moderate reduction in the risk of hospitalisation associated with the Omicron variant compared with the Delta variant. 

“However, this appears to be offset by the reduced efficacy of vaccines against infection with the Omicron variant. 

“Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron virus, there remains the potential for health services to face increasing demand if Omicron cases continue to grow at the rate that has been seen in recent weeks.”

With the situation constantly being reviewed, health secretary Sajid Javid advised everyone to “remain cautious” while health minister Gillian Keegan warned there is “uncertainty” around people making new year’s eve plans.

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