Unlucky 122,186 Brits test positive for Covid at Christmas but Omicron IS milder, experts say

COVID has put a dampener on Christmas for 122,186 unlucky Brits who have today tested positive and now face self-isolation.

Total Omicron infections hit 114,625 as scientists offer a ray of festive hope, suggesting the new variant is milder than those that came before it.

Brits are getting ready to celebrate the festive season this year after the Prime Minister said people should go ahead with their Christmas plans[/caption]

A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

The NHS will continue to rollout vaccines on Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year in a bid to protect people from Omicron.

As millions more get jabbed – it’s key that you try and keep your family safe this festive season and get a test if you feel unwell.

A further 23,719 people have tested positive for the Omicron variant in the UK today.

As infections increased again today, a further 137 people died within 28 days of a positive PCR test.

Data from the Office for National Statistics also revealed that one in 35 Brits currently have Covid and that there were 1.7 million infections last week.

The increase in infections in the UK comes after it was revealed that Omicron could be fading in South Africa.

This is great news for Brits, where the virus is currently running rampant across the country after creating an epicentre in London, which is home to the fastest rising cases in the country.

South African scientists are confident the Omicron outbreak there is receding and may last a total of just a couple of months.

There was a sudden steep rise in cases from close to zero in mid-November to an average of 10,000 daily cases early in December, after the variant was first detected there.

That then fell sharply to around 5,000 per day on average.

A report from the UK Health Security Agency revealed real-world data on how serious Omicron is.

The UKHSA report also suggested the level of vaccination and prior natural infections is causing milder symptoms from Omicron, which matches what medics in South Africa had suggested.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive, said: “Our latest analysis shows an encouraging early signal that people who contract the Omicron variant may be at a relatively lower risk of hospitalisation than those who contract other variants.

“However, it should be noted both that this is early data and more research is required to confirm these findings.

“Cases are currently very high in the UK, and even a relatively low proportion requiring hospitalisation could result in a significant number of people becoming seriously ill.

“The best way that you can protect yourself is to come forward for your first two doses of vaccine, or your booster jab and do everything you can to stop onward transmission of the infection.”

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