Omicron now the ‘dominant variant’ in Wales as confirmed cases more than double since Boxing Day to over 7,000
Omicron is now the dominant variant of Covid-19 in Wales as cases have more than doubled since Boxing Day to over 7,000, Public Health Wales have said.
Dr Meng Khaw, National Director for Health Protection and Screening Services for Public Health Wales, confirmed 5,680 new cases of Omicron variant in Wales, bringing the total to 7,369 cases.
He added that Omicron had now replaced Delta as the dominant Coronavirus variant in Wales, fewer than four weeks after the first case was confirmed here.
“Public Health Wales is today confirming 5,680 new cases of Omicron variant in Wales, bringing us to a total of 7,369 cases. As the Welsh Government has confirmed, Omicron has now replaced Delta as the dominant Coronavirus variant in Wales,” Meng Khaw said.
“The single best thing you can do to protect yourself, your community and the NHS against the Omicron variant is to take up the offer of a vaccine. You can also protect yourself by adhering to Welsh Government guidance, including limiting your contacts, wearing a face covering where appropriate, and doing a lateral flow test before seeing others. If you have symptoms, self-isolate and book a PCR test.”
He was speaking after Wales’ deputy chief medical officer, Dr Chris Jones, said that Mocron had been increasing in Wales with a doubling time of less than three days.
“During the last two to three weeks it has gradually replaced Delta and is now the dominant variant, and because of that I expect we will see a further acceleration as Omicron continues its exponential growth,” he told BBC Radio.
“We are seeing a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases caused by Omicron all over Wales. The majority of these are in younger people and we believe they would have been contracted before Christmas.”
Despite studies showing that Omicron is milder than Delta, there are fears that if cases continue to grow it could overwhelm the NHS, particularly if it causes widespread illness among staff.
The Welsh Government are expected to deliver another update on restrictions at the end of the week.
In Wales, nightclubs have been closed, table service is required in pubs and restaurants, and a maximum of six people can sit together at hospitality venues.