One in 10 Londoners are likely infected with COVID: ONS models

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, December 23, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) -Around 1 in 10 people in London were likely infected with COVID-19 on Sunday, according to new official estimates that underlined the relentless advance of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

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 report also showed a record 1 in 35 people in England had COVID-19 between Dec. 13 and Dec. 19 – compared with a previous estimate published on Thursday of 1 in 45 in the week to Dec. 16.

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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