London mayor declares ‘major incident’ as Omicron cases surge
London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” due to the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant across the UK capital, according to a statement.
A major incident refers to an event or situation with a range of serious consequences which require special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agencies.
It is “beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security”, the government said.
Coordination arrangements between key public services will be further stepped up with the re-establishment of the strategic coordinating group, which will have a government representative enabling London to seek further support to address the pressures facing the city, it said.
“The surge in cases of the Omicron variant across our capital is hugely concerning, so we are again declaring a major incident because of the threat of Covid-19 to our city,” Khan said.
“The Omicron variant has quickly become dominant, with cases increasing rapidly and the number of patients in our hospitals with Covid-19 on the rise again.”
The mayor previously declared a major incident on January 8 due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 cases and its impact on the national health service. It ended on February 26 as case numbers fell.
The number of Covid-19 cases in London has rapidly increased, with 65,525 new confirmed cases in the past seven days, and 26,418 cases reported in the last 24-hours alone — the highest number since the start of the pandemic.
In the past week, the number of Covid-19 patients in London hospitals has gone up 29%, government data showed.
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