THE number of Covid cases in the UK continues to drop for the fifth day in a row with 97 deaths being recorded.

There have been a total of 141,472 cases reported in the UK today after the 146,390 people reported yesterday when Covid deaths passed the grim milestone of 150,000.


Covid cases in the UK continue to fall for the fifth day in a row


Covid cases in the UK continue to fall for the fifth day in a row

In comparison, last Sunday 148,187 people tested positive for the virus in the UK while 73 deaths were recorded.

It comes as experts who had initially warned Britain needed to impose harsh measures or face thousands of deaths due to Omicron have now admitted they were wrong.

A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

A total of 51,950,528 first doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been delivered in the UK by January 8, Government figures show.

This is a rise of 30,713 on the previous day. Some 47,677,951 second doses have been delivered, an increase of 45,468.

A combined total of 35,499,486 booster and third doses have also been given, a day-on-day rise of 225,541.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said today he believes that Britain will be the first to put the pandemic behind us.

He said: “I hope we will be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you transition from pandemic to endemic, and then deal with this however long it remains with us, whether that’s five, six, seven, 10 years.”

The Education Secretary also revealed that COVID rules will be reviewed by health officials amid calls to reduce self-isolation from seven days to five.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitals declaring critical incidents were revealed to be comparable with before the pandemic.

The Education Secretary explained that out of more than 130 hospital trusts, 24 had declared critical incidents compared to 23 in 2017/2018.

Speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips, he said: “In 2017-18, 23 declared a critical incident so it is a mechanism that the NHS uses very well in times of very high pressure on the system.”

And he added eight Nightingale sites would help to go beyond current capacity to ensure the NHS could cope with any spike in hospitalisations.

He also insisted schools will remain open and promised ‘I’ll do everything in my power’ to keep students in class despite the number of staff isolating and sick increasing daily. 

Lastly, he vowed free lateral flow tests will “absolutely not” be axed, despite several reports claiming they would be scrapped.

He added that he was “puzzled” by the reports and confirmed the tests will continue to be free.

It comes as modellers who advise the Government admitted that winter deaths by the new strain would be “substantially” lower than they had anticipated, mainly because the strain is less deadly as they thought Mail Online reports.

Dr Nick Davies and his team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine built the original models assuming Omicron was equally lethal to the Delta strain.

He said: “We now know that doesn’t seem to be at all the case, as people are ending up in hospital with Omicron, but they are not requiring critical care [to the same extent as with Delta]”

“The deaths number will come down very substantially [compared with original estimates].”

He added: “It’s clear that our understanding of Omicron has changed substantially in the last two weeks.”

Isolation SHOULD be cut to 5 days, Education Secretary says as experts admit gloomy Omicron death predictions were wrong

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