Record 3million Brits had Covid on New Year’s Eve

Weekly infections hit 3.7 million — with the total soaring from 2.3 million in the previous seven days.

And, with the number of NHS trusts declaring critical incidents rocketing to 24 overnight, it means one in eight hospitals in England is on the brink of being overwhelmed.

Yet the latest data, from the Office for National Statistics, suggests the Omicron outbreak may have finally slowed in the capital.

That is despite one in ten Londoners having the bug last week.

Warwick University’s Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group, said: “We’re getting cases very, very high but there is early evidence that things might be turning around in London.”

Professor Kevin McConway, statistics expert at the Open University, said: “The picture is pretty grim but the slowdown in London is encouraging, given that infections increased fastest there.”

And in another sign of hope, the number of critically ill Brits needing mechanical ventilation in intensive care fell yesterday.

There were 769 Covid victims on breathing support in England on Wednesday, down from 797 the day before.

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