(Belga) The United Kingdom recorded 313 new deaths due to Covid-19 on Saturday, bringing to 150,057 the total number of people who have died since the start of the pandemic in this country, one of the most bereaved in Europe.
Subjected for a few weeks to record contaminations due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the country has thus passed a symbolic bar. Contamination has, however, been declining for several days: according to figures published by the government, 146,390 cases were recorded on Saturday in 24 hours. Even if the number of people in the hospital is for the moment lower (18,454 people on Saturday) than in previous waves, the pressure on the health system remains very strong. According to the health service for England, NHS England, more than 39,000 absences of hospital staff, in isolation because infected with the coronavirus or contact case, were recorded on January 2, or 59% more in a week and the triple compared to early December. This includes more than 4,700 absences in London, which has been the epicenter of the new wave of contaminations. On Friday, the British government announced that several hundred soldiers would be deployed to reinforce British hospitals and ambulance services to alleviate this growing absenteeism. For the moment, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to impose new restrictions to limit the spread of the virus – in addition to teleworking and wearing the mask already in place -, focusing on screening and the vaccination campaign. This has already made it possible to administer two doses to 82% of those over 12 years old, and the booster campaign, carried out vigorously, has benefited 35 million people (approximately 60% of those over 12). (Belga)