UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that there will be a “rocky few weeks ahead” for the National Health Service (NHS) as Covid cases continue to soar in the country.
Speaking during a visit to a hospital in London, Javid said these are “challenging times” for the health service and the “best thing” people can do is get their booster jab, reports Xinhua news agency.
Javid’s remarks came after two major incidents were declared in England due to pressures caused by the Omicron variant’s spread.
“We know now that Omicron is less severe and we certainly know that once you get boosted that your chance of hospitalisation, our latest analysis shows, is almost 90 per cent less than it was with Delta,” he said.
The UK reported another 178,250 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 14,279,785, according to official figures.
The country also reported a further 229 deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 150,222, with 18,454 patients still in hospital.
Some 200 Armed Forces personnel are being deployed to support the NHS in London as hospitals grapple with staff shortages, according to Sky News.
The Royal College of Nursing has said the deployment means the government can no longer deny there is a “staffing crisis” within the NHS.
More than 90 per cent of people aged 12 and over have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 82 per cent were fully inoculated, according to the latest figures.
More than 61 per cent have received booster jabs.