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’Major incident’ declared in UK due to omicron outbreak

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, issued a “major incident” Saturday for London to help alleviate pressure on the city’s health care services as the omicron variant of the coronavirus ravages the country.

“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,” the mayor said in a statement, according to the Guardian magazine. “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.”

The declaration allows various national and public agencies to coordinate and work together in moments of national crises and serves as a warning to the public that health care services such as hospitals and ambulances would not be operating as normal.

Khan made the announcement shortly after the UK recorded its largest 24-hour case increase since the omicron surge began Friday.

Hospitalizations have increased rapidly since the advent of the variant in the UK.

According to data by the Department of Health, 1,534 people were admitted to hospitals in the capital this week -- a 28.6% increase from last week when there were 1,193 admissions.


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