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Covid-19: Omicron cases almost double to 31

Omicron variant cases of the coronavirus have almost doubled since health officials announced 16 cases at the start of the week, it was announced yesterday.

The Omicron strain accounted for 31 of the cases where typing was available.

The news came as the number of active Covid-19 cases also almost doubled to 62.

One coronavirus victim is in hospital – the first since late November – but is not in intensive care.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said the new variant was “spreading quickly“ and appealed to the public to show caution.

Health officials announced on Monday that the island had 16 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant out of 35 active cases of the virus.

Typing was available for 47 of the active cases.

The Delta variant accounted for 16 cases.

The new strain, first reported in Bermuda on December 9, surpassed the Delta variant, which accounted for 12 cases, earlier this week.

The health ministry said an update would be given at 2pm today.

Covid-19 In-depth

The new cases were among 4,124 test results that came back to health officials since the last update.

A total of 21 of the new cases came in from overseas, ten cases were classed as on-island transmissions and two cases as under investigation.

Four people have recovered from infection since Monday.

In cases from overseas, 93 per cent were in fully vaccinated people.

For on-island cases, 95 per cent of the cases were in the fully vaccinated.

The seven-day average of the island’s real-time reproduction number is 0.68.

Just over 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, and 72.1 per cent have had one dose of the jab.

The number of residents who have had a booster shot stands at 28.2 per cent.

A “small” stock of the AstraZeneca vaccine is now available for first, second or booster jabs.

Appointments can be booked by phone at 444-2498.

Ms Wilson said health and safety depended on getting vaccinated along with masks, physical distancing, proper ventilation and good hand hygiene.

“We must do it all,” she said. “As the World Health Organisation warned this week, the Omicron variant is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant.

“The coronavirus thrives on human contact, and as we head into the holiday season, we must continue to follow public health guidance.”

An extra flu express is being offered on Saturday from 9am to 2pm at the National Stadium Pavilion in Devonshire, with registration online here.

Pre-registration can be done by phone at 799- 1524 or 332-8902.