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Omicron cases soar in Denmark and UK send warning to rest of Europe

Epidemiologists say Omicron will become the dominant coronavirus variant in Denmark this week, driving the surge in cases to a record and raising alarm for the rest of Europe about more transmission mutations.

Cases in Denmark have increased, contributing to a record daily number of Covid-19 infections, with some statisticians predicting Omicron will represent the majority of cases in the country. Scandinavian countries on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Omicron variant is now having a clear impact on case numbers in Denmark and the UK, the first evidence outside southern Africa of its ability to change the course of the pandemic. Epidemiologists say the two countries have given early warning that infection levels and hospital admissions could soar across Europe this winter, highlighting the need for programs to boost effectiveness. fruit.

“Denmark is the leader here. Soren Riis Paludan, professor of biomedicine at Aarhus University, said:

The UK Health Security Agency said Omicron was also expected to become the dominant virus strain in the UK by mid-December, while it would represent the majority of cases in Norway just before Christmas. born.

The graph shows that the Omicron variant is dominating in Denmark and London, with the number of cases skyrocketing in both locations

Both Denmark and Norway expect Covid cases to outpace previous peaks. Denmark’s health authority, said it expected Omicron to become dominant this week, speak Daily cases could soon exceed 10,000. It reported 7,799 new cases on Monday, the pandemic’s highest daily number, with the number of cases doubling from the same day last week.

In Norway, health authorities alert that without countermeasures, Omicron could infect 300,000 people a day from the previous peak of about 1,000 cases. Frode Forland, a Norwegian state epidemiologist, told the Financial Times that around 500 hospital admissions a day is a more realistic prediction, almost double the previous peak.

“It can’t be stopped. The strategy in Norway is to try to extend the period until it takes over. The situation is very serious now so we have to take urgent measures. There is an exponential increase in these cases,” he added. Norway’s centre-left government on Monday night introduced a raft of new restrictions including a ban on the serving of alcohol in bars and restaurants as well as asking the military for help in handling rising movements. strong.

Denmark and the UK both have Gene sequencing operation, has allowed them to detect Omicron and other variants before many other countries. Both countries are seeing a rapid increase in Omicron infections unlike some other countries with as much pomelo as Germany.

Authorities said on Monday Denmark had recorded 3,437 cases of Omicron, close to doubling in the past two days. About 9% of people infected with Omicron have received three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, 75% are two doses, while 14% have not been vaccinated.

Thirty-seven people were hospitalized with this variant in Denmark, with 28 of them testing positive before or shortly after, and eight hospitalized for other reasons and subsequently having the results. positive a few days later. This is in stark contrast to admissions with other variants, where the vast majority of patients are positive prior to admission, suggesting that a significant number of patients in the Omicron wave may positive for Covid even if they are not receiving treatment.

The chart shows the Omicron variant holding across Europe

Great Britain recorded the first death of a patient with Omicron in Monday. The Daily Covid case count has now surpassed its summer high but is still well below its record high from January. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Monday that there were now 4,713 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK and he expected it to become the dominant variant in London over the next 48 hours.

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said UK cases of the Delta variant increased at a slower rate than Omicrons, meaning the latter variant “will take over, possibly not in next week, but almost certainly after the week.”

He emphasized that in the week ending December 6, most of the increase in cases had been seen in people under 60 in London. The UK capital reported 11,791 new cases on Monday, the highest number since January. The infection rate is now doubling every week, the fastest rate of increase since July.

“I suspect that most of the increase we’ve seen in this early stage of this Omicron epidemic has been in London’s under-vaccinated young people,” said Hunter. may slow down. He added: “Once it starts to spread among older people and in other parts of the country where they have better roll-out of booster vaccines, I suspect we’ll see a pretty marked drop. on fertility rates.

Other European countries are still waiting to feel the full impact of Omicron. In France, there are signs that the country’s current fifth wave of infections is starting to slow down but some health officials are warning that Omicron will fuel the coming sixth wave. happen.

Cases in Switzerland, yes worst vaccination rates in Western Europe, has been selling well since mid-November, but the latest string of publicly disclosed tests, from December 3, shows that Omicron accounts for only 2.7% of positive results.

Additional reporting by Sam Jones in Zurich and Leila Abboud in Paris

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