UK’s Omicron-Related Deaths Rise to 7 as London Mayor Declares ‘Major Incident’

By Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.
December 18, 2021 Updated: December 18, 2021

Six more people have died in England with the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus on Friday, according to the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

It comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” on Saturday, saying the surge of Omicron cases in the capital was “hugely concerning.”

In UKHSA’s Omicron daily review paper (pdf) published on Saturday, the agency said 10,059 more confirmed Omicron cases were reported by 6 p.m. on Friday across the UK, bringing the total to 24,968.

An additional 76,705 cases were reported as S-gene target failure (SGTF) cases, meaning they are suspected Omicron cases but were not confirmed.

England has 23,168 confirmed Omicron cases, almost 93 percent of the total UK number.

There have been 85 Omicron-related hospitalisations, UKHSA said, adding the number includes both confirmed Omicron cases and SGTF cases.

Seven Omicron-related death have been reported in England, six more from the previous day. But the document didn’t specify if the deaths were all confirmed cases or they included SGTF cases.

No details on the hospitalisations and deaths have been published, including vaccination status, underlying health conditions, and age. UKHSA told The Epoch Times additional information will be published in future technical briefings.

No Omicron hospitalisations or deaths were reported in other UK nations.

No other countries have officially reported confirmed Omicron deaths so far, but a statement from South Africa’s Ministry of Health on Thursday suggested there had been Omicron deaths in the country, but the number was relatively low.

“According to scientific studies, this virus is spreading quicker than in previous waves, but the rates of hospitalisations and deaths remain relatively low,” the statement reads.

According to official data, there are 7,611 people in hospital with the CCP virus in the UK on Dec. 16, and the latest seven-day average of CCP virus-related deaths was 112.4.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid previously told Parliament that around 80 percent of patients in hospitals with the CCP virus were hospitalised because of the virus, with the other 20 percent hospitalised for other reasons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier wrote on Twitter that an emergency response meeting with representatives from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will take place over the weekend.

In London, the mayor has declared a “major incident” on Saturday, saying the surge of Omicron cases was ” hugely concerning.”

“The surge in cases of the Omicron variant across our capital is hugely concerning, so we are once again declaring a major incident because of the threat of COVID-19 to our city,” Khan said.

“The Omicron variant has quickly become dominant, with cases increasing rapidly and the number of patients in our hospitals with Covid-19 on the rise again,” he said.

“We are already feeling the impact across the capital and while we are still learning about this variant, it’s right that London’s key agencies work closely together to minimise the impact on our city, including helping to protect the vital vaccination programme.”

Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.