The United Kingdom on Friday announced a new record number of cases of the virus affected by the Omicron variant.
The government has reported 122,186 new cases in the past 24 hours, more than 2,000 more than Thursday’s figure.
The UK is one of the worst affected countries in Europe with a virus death toll of 147,857.
The number of cases has jumped 48% in the past 7 days, compared to the previous week, while hospitalizations and deaths have increased much less sharply.
The British Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said on Thursday that figures so far show the risk of being admitted to hospital with an Omicron infection is up to 70% lower than with the Delta variant previously dominant.
The government agency warned, however, that the results were “preliminary and very uncertain” as they are based on a small sample of hospitalization cases so far.
UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harries told BBC Radio 4 on Friday that the data offers a “beacon of hope for Christmas”, but “it is certainly not yet to the point where we could reduce this serious threatens”.
The government will no longer update its virus case figures until December 27 due to the public holidays.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)