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One in 10 Londoners are likely infected with Covid

Shoppers walk along Regent Street, amid the Covid-19 outbreak in London. - Reuters
Shoppers walk along Regent Street, amid the Covid-19 outbreak in London. - Reuters

LONDON: Around one in ten Londoners were likely infected with Covid-19 on Sunday, according to new official estimates that underlined the relentless advance of the Omicron variant.

Daily modelled estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics showed around 9.5% of Londoners had Covid-19 as of Sunday, within a 95% confidence interval of 8.43% to 10.69%.

The figures came a day after Britain recorded a record number of new coronavirus cases as the Omicron variant swept across the country, with the daily tally reaching 119,789 from 106,122 a day earlier.

The ONS modeling showed an additional 600,000 people in England were infected with Covid in just five days leading up to Sunday, bringing current infections past the 2 million mark. That pushed the infection ratio in England to 1 in 25 people from 1 in 40 on December 14.

Prevalence increased across all parts of the United Kingdom in the run-up to Sunday, according to the latest estimates, the data showed, with Scotland showing the lowest rate of infections at 1 in 65 people.

Many industries and transport networks are struggling with staff shortages as sick workers self-isolate, while hospitals in Britain have warned of the risk of an impact on patient safety.

Omicron's rapid advance has driven a surge in cases in Britain over the last seven days, with the total rising by 678,165, government data showed on Thursday.

As the Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggles to limit the economic impact of the latest Covid-19 outbreak, it said on Wednesday it was reducing the legal self-isolation period in England to seven days from 10.

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