Delta Coronavirus variant still biggest threat in UK despite Omicron fear: ONS

LONDON, Dec 3: The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus remains the biggest threat in the UK despite increasing fear of the Omicron variant, the Office for National Statistics reported on Friday.

“Our most recent results show over 99 per cent of all coronavirus (Covid 19) infections, from which we obtained a genetic sequence, were genetically compatible with the Delta variant or its descendants,” the ONS said.

According to the survey, a random sampling of 180,000 people showed that the number of those testing positive for Covid 19 has increased in the week ending on November 27 in the four nations of the UK, where 1,087,400 people were estimated to have been infected in that period of time.

In England, around one in 60 people in private households had Covid 19 in the week to November 27, up from one in 65 the previous week, while in Wales and Northern Ireland one in 45 were infected, and in Scotland the percentage equated to one in 65, up from one in 50 and one in 70, respectively, the previous week.

On Thursday, UK health authorities recorded 53,945 new cases of coronavirus, the highest figure on record since July 17.

The ONS said, however, that to date, we have not identified any infections compatible with the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) among our survey participants.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first identified in South Africa last week and the World Health Organization has classified it as a variant of concern, as its high number of mutations might make it more transmissible and dangerous than Delta.

There have been 42 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK so far. (UNI)