Search icon


14th Dec 2021

Shock horror – Dominic Raab doesn’t have a clue what’s going on with Omicron

Ava Evans

There are currently 10 people in hospital with the Omicron variant of Covid – not 250, as Dominic Raab claimed

Dominic Raab sparked confusion on Tuesday morning after incorrectly claiming there are 250 patients currently in hospital with the Omicron variant – before revising the number and getting it wrong a second time. 

The deputy prime minister initially told Sky News: “Last I saw it was in the low hundreds, 250 the last time I looked, but of course the data is being updated all the time.”

Minutes later, Raab revised the figure down to nine when he appeared on BBC Breakfast. “I know we’ve had one death – I think we’ve got nine people who are in hospital with [omicron].”

Officials later clarified that this was incorrect too, and there are in fact 10 people in hospital with the new variant.

On Monday, both the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed there were 10 people in hospital with the Omicron variant.

Raab later confirmed the correct figure of “10 at the moment” when quizzed over his earlier mistakes on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Related Links

He told presenter Adil Ray: “First of all, I misheard one of the questions around whether it was hospitalisations of Omicron-related patients or more generally, but the figures are: one death from Omicron, 10 in hospital, and I can tell you the latest daily hospitalisations run at 900.”

The confusion comes after the UKHSA on Monday suggested Omicron is currently infecting 200,000 people a day across the country, a figure which is an “estimation” and includes asymptomatic and untested carriers of the virus.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, Javid said the variant represents more than 20 per cent of coronavirus cases in England and could become dominant in London “in the next 48 hours”.

On Tuesday afternoon the Commons will vote to pass new Covid measures into law. It is expected Prime Minister Boris Johnson could face a rebellion from nearly 80 Conservative MPs, but legislation will pass – with Labour planning to support the measures.