Experts warn they ‘can’t rule out’ the biggest wave yet as Omicron could have ‘very serious consequences’ for the UK
Scientific experts who advise the government have given a stark warning that Omicron could have “very serious consequences” for the UK as it would likely be capable of ‘initiating a new wave of infections.”
The warning comes after scientists from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) held an emergency meeting to discuss B.1.1.529, known as Omicron.
The meeting was observed by a key Department of Health official and England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who also warned, “We cannot exclude that this wave would be of a magnitude similar, or even larger, than previous waves.
“Although data on disease severity associated with B.1.1.529 are not yet available, a large wave of infections will be accompanied by a wave of severe cases and the subgroup cannot rule out that this may be sufficient to overwhelm NHS capacity.”
The government has been urged to take “early and robust actions to prevent introduction and onward transmission,” by the NERVTAG scientists.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said more has to be learned over the new variant and confirmed on Wednesday that there is now 22 cases.
Javid added that he does not “anticipate” there will be any more restrictions being imposed.