British health boss won’t rule out new COVID checks before Christmas
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UK Health Secretary declined to rule out imposing stricter COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Christmas amid rapid rise in infections and continued uncertainty over the omicron variant
Sajid Javid said on Sunday the government is assessing the rapidly evolving situation and urged the public to be careful while scientists examine the data. Much is still unknown about the new variant, even as hospitals brace for an upsurge in infections, he told the BBC.
“There are no guarantees in this pandemic, I don’t think so,” Javid replied when asked about the potential for further restrictions. “At this point, we just have to keep everything under control. “
Nations across Europe are set to reimpose tougher measures to stem a new wave of COVID-19 infections spurred by the highly transmissible variant of omicron.
The Dutch government has imposed a strict national lockdown from Sunday in a bid to curb the sharp rise in infection levels. Alarmed ministers from France, Germany, Austria and Cyprus have tightened travel restrictions.
Ireland has imposed an 8 p.m. curfew in pubs and bars and limited participation in indoor and outdoor events. Paris has canceled its New Year’s fireworks display.
The World Health Organization reported on Saturday that omicron has been detected in 89 countries. COVID-19 cases involving the variant are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in places with community transmission and not just infections acquired abroad, the WHO said.
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