Cases and Deaths Start Piling Up in Britain as Omicron Runs Amok

The weekend lull in Britain was a lull in reporting and not in the incidence of Covid cases. (Representational image: Reuters)

From the effects of the Omicron surge becoming more apparent to the cooperation between India and UK in space, a roundup of what’s making news at this time.

  • London
  • Last Updated:December 16, 2021, 23:03 IST

Going up: So case numbers are climbing dramatically in Britain now. The weekend lull was a lull in reporting and not in the incidence of cases. With these, the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths have begun to rise significantly though not alarmingly yet. The gap between those and the incidence of cases has narrowed a little. The jury is still out on whether this new variant, Omicron, is just some sort of flu with a Greek name.

Wise choice: Indian High Commission officials have decided to give their own system of testing and filtering for the virus a break. The annual reception the High Commission had planned for the media on Wednesday has been cancelled. It was figured, quite rightly of course, that while everyone can be tested at the entry point to India House, they cannot be tested on the trains they will have to take to get there.

Getting down to business: Indian online grocery stores are gathering resources ahead of a revival of business. They sprang up through the lockdown earlier, and are beginning to see an increase in orders already as people begin to pull down their shutters and stay indoors. It will also mean that more and more can experiment with cooking as they learnt to do through the long lockdowns before.

Not-so-happy new year: A number of British companies will be in a harder place from January 1, 2022, than they were the previous year when Brexit kicked in. That is when new measures for imports from the European Union come into effect. A large number of companies say they are not ready for them. This is expected to lead to greater congestion at ports that are seeing difficulties already in handling goods coming in from India and other countries. The end of the EU ease will mean more goods piling up at ports, and outside them.

Final frontier: Britain and India are progressing more steadily at present on cooperation in outer space than they are on trade ties on earth. The Ministry of External Affairs has announced that the two sides have “exchanged information on respective national space priorities, and deliberations in international forums in the outer space domain”. Officials and scientists are determined to take that cooperation forward.

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