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Covid live: UK reports more than 12,000 new Omicron cases and variant becomes dominant in Ireland | World news









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UK reports 12,000 cases of Omicron variant

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Omicron now dominant variant in Ireland

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The British government’s health minister, Sajid Javid, has made clear that tougher Covid restrictions could be imposed in England before Christmas, after the government’s Sage committee warned that hospitalisations could peak at between 3,000 and 10,000 a day unless action is taken.

Javid acknowledged that data about the Omicron variant remained incomplete – but suggested it might be necessary to make decisions before a full picture is available.

Asked to rule out new measures pre-Christmas, he said: “We are assessing the situation; it’s very fast-moving,” adding, “There’s a lot of uncertainty, there are gaps in the data, but we must work with the data we’ve got, we mustn’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.”


Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Javid stressed that it was already clear that Omicrom spread very quickly, adding that there were likely to be many more cases than official data is showing.

In minutes published this weekend, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) urged the government to reintroduce “more stringent measures … very soon”, warning that cases were set to reach between 600,000 and 2 million a day by the end of the month if action was not taken immediately.

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Israeli prime minister: state protection ‘not enough’ against Omicron

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Piers Corbyn, a leading Covid-19 denier, has been arrested on suspicion of encouraging people to burn down MPs’ offices.

The Metropolitan police said a man in his 70s – whom it did not name – was arrested in Southwark, south London, in the early hours of Sunday.

“The arrest relates to a video posted online in which people were encouraged to burn down MPs’ offices,” the force said. Earlier, the Met said it was assessing a video that appears to show Corbyn, 74, calling for MPs’ offices to be burned down.

The video, shared on social media, shows Corbyn, a prominent anti-lockdown protester and brother of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, criticising politicians who voted for Covid restrictions.

After urging the crowd to “hammer to death those scum who have decided to go ahead with introducing new fascism”, Corbyn appears to tell a crowd in the video: “You’ve got to get a list of them … and if your MP is one of them, go to their offices and, well, I would recommend burning them down, OK. But I can’t say that on air. I hope we’re not on air.”




Anti lockdown activist and Covid-19 denier Piers Corbyn is seen performing a fire trick at Downing Street during a demonstration on 18 December

Anti lockdown activist and Covid-19 denier Piers Corbyn is seen performing a fire trick at Downing Street during a demonstration on 18 December. Photograph: Hesther Ng/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

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Spanish prime minister warns population of omicron threat

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Netherlands in shock as country enters lockdown

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