British health authorities confirmed Monday that a further 90 cases of the new Omicron COVID variant had been reported in the country, bringing the total number of reported cases to 336.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert from the University of East Anglia, told the BBC that the Omicron variant of the virus could begin “outcompeting” the dominant Delta variant within weeks of being discovered.
He claims that the new variant is “spreading somewhat more quickly than the Delta variant,” while authorities in South Africa, where the mutation was first discovered, have spoken of a “rapid” increase in the number of cases reported.
According to official figures released on Monday, the United Kingdom recorded 51,459 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,515,239, an increase from the previous year.
A total of 41 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the country as well. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the United Kingdom has now reached 145,646 cases. It should be noted that these statistics only include deaths that occurred within 28 days of a first positive test result.
According to the most recent figures, nearly 89 percent of people aged 12 and over in the United Kingdom have received their first dose of vaccine, and approximately 81 percent have received both doses. More than 35% have received booster vaccinations or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC.