Coronavirus Omicron variant
Coronavirus Omicron variant iStock

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading extremely rapidly in the UK, British health officials said Monday.

The first cases of Omicron were first detected in Britain on November 27th, yet just over two weeks later, the new variant now accounts for some 40% of reported in infections in London.

British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that the Omicron variant spreads far faster than previously detected strains of the virus.

“It's spreading at a phenomenal rate, something that we've never seen before, it's doubling every two to three days in infections,” Javid said in an interview with Sky News.

"That means we're facing a tidal wave of infection, we're once again in a race between the vaccine and the virus."

A day earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also used the term “tidal wave”, as the government imposed new restrictions in the hopes of curbing Omicron’s spread.

The UK government is now advising Brits to get a booster shot, warning that two doses of the COVID vaccine is insufficient to protect against the virus.

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