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Some 51.8% of a sample of new coronavirus cases in London with sample dates for December 11-12 were found to have S-gene target failure (SGTF) – a way to detect the presence probable from Omicron.
Most of the Omicron samples that were sequenced in the lab were found to contain a slight but identifiable difference from other Covid-19 variants such as Delta.
This difference – a deletion in the S gene – shows up in some lab PCR tests and can be used as a way to estimate the spread of Omicron.
Of the 1,391 cases of Covid-19 in London recorded on December 11 and 12 where the status of the S gene could be determined, 721 were classified as SGTF.
The figures, which were released by the UK Health Security Agency, also show that 26.9% of a sample of detectable cases in the east of England on December 11-12 were classified as SGTF, with 25, 4% in the south-east of England and 20.8%. in the North West of England.
Levels were lower in all other regions, with the North East of England having the lowest estimate of 6.2%.
The level for England as a whole was estimated at 24.0%.
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