London declares "major incident" as Omicron cases surge
"We're incredibly concerned by the huge surge in the Omicron variant," the Mayor of London said.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" as the number of Omicron cases surge throughout the UK capital.
A major incident is an emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements to be enforced by one or more emergency response teams.
During an interview with Sky News conducted earlier today, Khan hit home the severity of the new Covid variant and its hold upon the city.
"We're incredibly concerned by the huge surge in the Omicron variant," he said.
"Over the last 24 hours, we've had the largest number of new cases since this pandemic began, more than 26,000.
"Hospital admissions are going up but also staff absences are going up by massive levels.
"So, I've taken the decision, in consultation with our partners, to declare a major incident today."
BREAKING: The mayor of London has declared a major incident in the capital over the "huge surge" of Omicron cases and an increase in hospital admissions.
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 18, 2021
This is the second time that a "major incident" has been declared in London due to the Coronavirus following last January.
Omicron has now become the dominant strain in the capital, with London now home to the UK's eight worst-hit Covid hotspots.
Khan told Sky News that it is "really important" that Londoners "understand how serious things are".
"The best thing Londoners can do is to get both vaccines and the booster. They provide extra layers of protection," he said.
"The really bad news is those in hospital - the vast, vast majority are unvaccinated.
"That's why it's so important to get both the vaccines and the booster jab."