London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a “major 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 “following 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 — 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 “is 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.”
“We 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 “hugely concerning,” adding the variant was now “dominant” in the British capital.
“Cases 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.