The Daily Mirror says a new Covid outbreak blighting China is believed to be the dreaded Omicron variant which ruined the Christmas and New Years celebrations of millions of Brits last year.
The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on 24 November 2021.
The variant is defined by it its fast-spreading nature – it multiples around 70 times faster than the Delta variant but is known to be less severe. Omicron infections are 91 per cent less fatal than the delta variant, with 51 per cent less risk of hospitalization.
How serious is the COVID-19 variant omicron?
In fully vaccinated and/or boosted people, omicron symptoms tend to be mild. In unvaccinated people, symptoms may be quite severe, possibly leading to hospitalization or even death. Omicron is also more likely to cause symptoms even if you’ve been exposed or tested positive in the past.
The Guardian says the WHO has said the number of reported new Covid-19 cases worldwide decreased by nearly a quarter last week, continuing a decline seen since the end of March.
The Independent says a new Omicron sub-variant, thought to be the most infectious yet, is becoming more prevalent in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Three people have officially died from Covid-19 Shanghai has confirmed, after a recent outbreak plunged the megacity into a weeks-long lockdown.
The Metro says After arriving in the UK in December 2021, Omicron quickly became the dominant variant of coronavirus – and now scientists have shared two early signs that suggest you may have it.
The Daily Express says TWO news Omicron mutations have been detected and are already “dominating” cases abroad, experts have warned.
The Guardian says people who have the Omicron Covid variant tend to have symptoms for a shorter period, a lower risk of being admitted to hospital and a different set of symptoms.
The Guardian says China has locked down an industrial city of 9 million people overnight and reported more than 4,000 virus cases, as the nation’s “zero-Covid” strategy is confronted by an Omicron wave.
The Independent says coronavirus cases could peak in the next couple of weeks in Scotland as the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron drives a spike in numbers, a public health expert has said.
The Metro says the coronavirus pandemic is not over and the number of older people falling ill with the virus is increasing, experts have warned.
The Guardian says Britain’s economy bounced back from the Omicron variant of coronavirus at a faster pace than expected during January, as consumers returned to eating and drinking out in pubs and restaurants.
The Guardian says Covid cases appear to be rising in older people as increased socialising, waning immunity and a more transmissible version of the Omicron variant threaten to fuel a resurgence of the virus.
Aljazeera says Hong Kong’s government has asked the territory’s hotels to set aside as many 10,000 rooms to be used for coronavirus quarantine.
The Guardian says Dr Brian Resler, an emergency physician in the San Francisco Bay Area, recently polled a group of doctors on an overnight shift about their jobs.
VOA says an emerging version of the omicron variant of coronavirus does not seem more severe than the variant’s original version, says WHO.
The Metro says Boris Johnson was set to cancel Christmas for a second year running over fears of the Omicron wave, reports say.
The Metro says there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes from Monday, the Government has announced.
Arab News says as the world sees vaccination slowing and infections soaring with the spread of omicron, Iran has found a rare respite from the pandemic.
The Guardian says More passengers took Wizz Air flights over the Christmas period despite the rise of the Omicron variant.
. The Guardian says The UK economy grew at its slowest pace in almost a year in January as hospitality, leisure and travel businesses felt the impact of the Omicron
The Guardian says Covid cases are rising rapidly among US nursing home residents and staff, causing shortages in admissions, exacerbating bed shortages at hospitals in turn, and in some cases requiring the national guard to be called in.
The Independent says the final restrictions put in place in response to the Omicron variant sweeping across Scotland will be eased from Monday.
France24 says the Omicron variant has moved the Covid-19 pandemic into a new phase and could bring it to an end in Europe, the WHO Europe director said Sunday.
The Guardian says In her first press conference of the year, held outside in the central North Island sun, prime minister Jacinda Ardern was almost drowned out by a wave of cicada calls.
The Metro says The UK has seen its highest daily death toll in 11 months with another 438 people dying with Covid in the latest 24 hour period.