London declares ‘major incident’ over Omicron

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a ‘major incident’ in the UK capital over the quickly deteriorating epidemiological situation prompted by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

“Today I have declared a major incident in London because of the serious threat of Covid-19 to our city. This will help us avoid disruption to frontline services and to the life-saving booster vaccine rollout,” the mayor said on Twitter on Saturday.

READ MORE: UK ministers working on new lockdown plans – reports

A major incident is announced when special arrangements by emergency services might be required to deal with a serious event or situation. Such incidents are “likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life,” welfare, or essential services.

According to Khan’s office, the Strategic Coordinating Group will be reestablished “to seek further support from government to address the pressures facing the city.”

In the last week London has seen 65,525 new Covid cases, with 26,418 of those reported in the last 24 hour period – the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.

Nationwide daily numbers have also hit new records. On Friday, more than 93,000 cases were reported across the UK. The skyrocketing figures have reportedly prompted the UK government to consider imposing a strict post-Christmas lockdown to curb Omicron’s spread.

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