ONS announced today that an incredible 1 in 15 people in England would have tested positive on New Year’s eve for Omicron. They estimated this figure by randomly testing a sample of the population. That equates to 3.7 million people. Clearly the majority of these cases must be asymptomatic. It also implies that many of those previously vaccinated (80%) are now being infected with Omicron mostly with minor or no symptoms. Hospitalisations remain far lower than last year’s peak. The only good news is that Omicron now seems to be displacing the more serious delta variant.
The main problem we face is the loss of key workers due to self-isolation rules following a positive lateral flow test causing knock on disruption in hospitals, schools, transport and bin collection etc.
Hopefully many of those who already have received vaccines/boosters or have previously recovered from past infections are already immune. To reach classic herd immunity otherwise would need about 20 million people in total to be infected and “recover”.