In November a new variant of Covid-19 was detected in Botswana, Africa. The B.1.1.529 variant, officially named “Omicron”, has since spread to the UK. As of Monday, it makes up 20 per cent of total Covid cases in England.
According to Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, the doubling rate for Omicron cases is now under 2 days in most regions of the UK and is expected to become the dominant variant. So far, just one person has died with Omicron and only a small number have been hospitalised. Here’s what you need to know.