DAILY Covid cases hit a record high today – with 129,471 more people testing positive.
But coronavirus-related deaths fell, with 18 fatalities recorded in the UK.
Brits have been out hitting the shops this week and making the most of the salesCredit: AP
Despite the high number of positive tests, hospitalisation levels remain low and the NHS is not in crisis.
It comes as 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.
The total number of Covid cases recorded in the UK currently stands at 12,339,462, with 148,021 deaths overall.
Over the three days over the Christmas period, cases had risen by over 320,000.
The update on infection rates comes after the the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there had been 17,269 additional confirmed cases Omicron reported across the UK.
This brings the total confirmed cases of the variant in the UK to 177,201 although no case numbers have been reported in Scotland or Wales since December 23.
The number of deaths in England of people with the Omicron variant has risen to 49, according to the UKHSA.
Hospital admissions in England for people with confirmed or suspected Omicron rose to 668.
Omicron infections continue to spread – but scientists have offered hope that the variant isn’t as dangerous as those that came before it.
And the Government confirmed yesterday no new measures would be put in place before New Year’s Eve.
Speaking yesterday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We look at the data on a daily basis – that hasn’t changed over the Christmas period.
“But there will be no further measures before the new year. Of course, people should remain cautious as we approach New Year’s celebrations.”
Mr Javid urged Brits to take precautions like doing a later flow test and wearing a mask when ringing in the New Year instead.
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Today one top doctor said that mass deaths and hospitalisations were over due to the success of the jabs rollout.
The regius professor of medicine at Oxford University said last year’s “horrific scenes” at hospitals where thousands suffered painful deaths from Covid-19 will remain a thing of the of the past.
Sir John said Britain’s vaccine drive is responsible for keeping hospitalisation and death rates low – as the latest analysis shows admissions are DOWN more than 50 per cent in a week.
In other Covid-19 news:
Figures released by the NHS today show that as total of 9,546 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on December 28.
This is up 38 per cent from a week earlier and is the highest number since March 3.
A total of 8,474 people were in hospital with coronavirus yesterday.
The highest daily cases recorded in 2020 was on December 29, when 81,472 people test positive.
The UK’s deadliest day was on January 19 – which saw 1,359 people lose their lives.
There are currently 842 hospital-bound patients on ventilators – the lowest in two months – with winter-induced increase as seen last year.
And data has also shown that a third of patients who have Covid in hospital are actually being treated for something else.
The number going to hospital with the virus fell before Christmas — with 1,020 admitted on Christmas Eve compared to 1,252 the day before;
Fatality figures have also decreased, with 742 deaths reported in the last seven days – down 5.6 per cent on the week prior.