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18th Dec 2021

Sadiq Khan declares ‘major incident’ in London as Omicron cases surge

Simon Bland


The news comes amid reports of a 10 day circuit breaker lockdown planned for January

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared a “major incident” as the number of Omnicron cases surge throughout the capital.

During an interview with Sky News conducted earlier today, Khan hit home the severity of the new covid variant and its hold upon the city.

“We’re incredibly concerned by the huge surge in the Omicron variant. In the past 24 hours, we’ve had the largest number of new cases since this pandemic began, more than 26,000,” he told the outlet.

“Hospital admissions are going up but also staff absences are going up by massive levels – so I’ve taken the decision, in consultation with our partners, to declare a major incident today.”

This is the second time that a “major incident” has been declared in London due to coronavirus – with London now home to the UK’s eight worst-hit covid hotspots where Omicron has become the dominant strain.

The news comes swiftly on the heels of rumours that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a 10 day circuit breaker lockdown planned for January 2022.

Khan continued, telling Sky News that “it’s really important that Londoners understand how serious things are. The best thing Londoners can do is to get both vaccines and the booster.

“They provide extra layers of protection.”

He added: “The really bad news is those in hospital,  the vast, vast majority are unvaccinated, that is why it’s so important to get both the vaccines and the booster jab.”

According to leaked minutes taken from a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies which was held on Thursday, the BBC reports that if these trends continue, England hospitals could see as much as 3,000 admissions a day.

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