Live updates: Covid Omicron variant spreads around the world πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

A government digital poster encouraging people to wear face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus is displayed in a bus stop in London on December 17. (Matt Dunham/AP)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a β€œmajor incident” in the British capital as Omicron cases continued to rise on Saturday, according to a statement published on the London Assembly’s website.

Khan took the decision β€œfollowing discussions with leaders from NHS London, local authorities and emergency and other essential services in the capital,” per the statement.

There have been 65,525 newly confirmed Covid-19 cases in London in the past seven days, with 26,418 cases reported in the last 24-hour period alone β€” the highest number since the start of the pandemic, according to the statement. The number of Covid-19 patients in London hospitals has gone up 29%, according to the London Assembly.

The assembly said a major incident β€œis defined as an event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency.”

β€œWe know that the vaccine offer our best defense against the virus. There are now more clinics in London delivering vaccines than at any point during the pandemic. I urge all Londoners to book their appointment or to go to one of the many walk-in-centers across the capital as soon as you can,” Khan added.

Earlier in the day, Khan said the surge in cases of the Omicron variant across London was β€œhugely concerning,” adding the variant was now β€œdominant” in the British capital.

β€œCases are increasing rapidly and the number of admissions to hospitals is on the rise again,” the mayor said.

The mayor had previously declared a major incident on Jan. 8 due to the rapid spread of Covid-19, but the measure ended on Feb. 26 as case numbers fell.

Live updates: Covid Omicron variant spreads around the world

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