Covid: Sadiq Khan declares London ‘major incident’ amid spread of Omicron

A “major incident” has been declared in London due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

It means there will be closer co-ordination between key public services in responding to the situation.

It comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there had been 10,059 additional confirmed cases of the Omicron variant reported across the UK in the last day.

This brings the total confirmed cases of the variant in the UK to 24,968.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “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.

“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.

“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.

“We know that the vaccine offers our best defence against the virus. There are now more clinics in London delivering vaccines than at any point during the pandemic. I urge all Londoners to book their appointment or to go to one of the many walk-in centres across the capital as soon as you can.”

The mayor previously declared a major incident on January 8 due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 and its impact on the NHS, but was able to stand it down on February 26 as case numbers fell.

The number of confirmed Omicron cases in England stood at 23,168, up 9,427 on the previous day’s total, figures from the UKHSA on Saturday showed.

Scotland’s cases have reached 792, an increase of 96.

Cases in Northern Ireland rose to 827, a rise of 514.

In Wales there are 181, up 22 on the previous day.

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