NEW data has revealed that coronavirus infections are slowing, amid a spread in Omicron cases in older age groups.
But experts have warned that there has been a worrying rise in cases in Brits aged 55-75, which could put pressure on the NHS.
Omicron is now responsible for 90 per cent of cases in the UK and has taken over from the Delta variant.
It comes as a string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
Data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker app showed that infections are slowing in the 0-55 age groups.
Dr Claire Steves, scientist on the ZOE Covid Study app and reader at King’s College London said: “The number of daily new symptomatic Covid cases are more than double what they were this time last year and we are just a day or two away from hitting over 200,000.
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“However, the exponential growth in cases appears to have stopped, and the rise is more steady.
“Hospitalisation rates are thankfully much lower than this time last year, but they are still high, especially in London.
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“The ZOE data is showing that cases are still on the rise in 55-75 year olds so unfortunately it’s likely that this will translate into more hospital admissions in the New Year.”
In total there are currently 192,290 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average, an increase of 33 per cent from 144,284 reported last week, the data showed.
Millions of people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and the data shows that in the jabbed population there are currently 78,748 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK.
This is an increase of 40 per cent from 56,346 new daily cases reported last week.
The increase in cases in the vaccinated population shows why it’s imperative that you go out and get your booster vaccine.
Two doses alone does not protect you from Omicron and ministers and health experts alike have hailed the boosters as the best line of defence against the virus.
For many people catching Omicron, the data shows that symptoms are more like a common cold.
Dr Steves said: “It’s good news to see that fewer people are newly sick than a few weeks ago.
“However, the fact that 75 per cent of new cold-like symptoms are Covid and the classic symptoms are much less common, means the Government advice needs to be urgently updated.
“We want to see symptoms like sore throat, headache, and runny nose added to the list as soon as possible.”
She added that looking ahead to 2022, the strategy going forward should be on maximising immunity across not only different generations and sections of society, but across the world too.
“Let’s be clear, this is a global pandemic so we need to be looking at other countries and helping vaccination programs everywhere to increase global immunity levels and help reduce the risk of future variants”, she said.