WorldOmicron variant of coronavirus causes staff shortages in British...

Omicron variant of coronavirus causes staff shortages in British public services

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The wave of omicron infections in the United Kingdom sparked fears of serious staff shortages in hospitals and other public services such as schools, with the country returning to work on Tuesday after the Christmas holidays.

LOOK: The United Kingdom is getting ready for the possible absence of up to 25% of public employees per omicron

The NHS public health service is already experiencing problems due to the large number of personnel who are in quarantine after testing positive. Some 50,000 of his employees took time off from work last week because they were ill or in isolation, the Sunday Times reported.

And at least six hospitals have declared “critical incidents,” meaning that some crucial services may be compromised.

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The problem also affected rail service in England on Tuesday, the first full day after a Monday holiday, imposing long waits on commuters returning to work.

The secretary of state for public health, Maggie Throup, assured the Sky News channel that she was “not sure” how many Britons are currently in quarantine.

“It has been shown during Christmas that many people have been infected, the variant omicron it is very transmissible, but it is good news that it does not seem to cause serious diseases like some of the other variants, “he said.

According to recent regulations, the 10-day quarantine after a positive for the coronavirus can be reduced to 7 on the condition of testing negative for two days in a row.

To ease what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called “considerable pressure” on hospitals on Monday, calls have been made for this rule to be made more flexible for health workers, but the government doubts its relevance.

On Tuesday, students returned to school and also faced the prospect of massive teacher absences and class meltdowns, to such an extent that English authorities called in retired staff to reinforce the service.

Regardless, “in-person education will remain the norm,” Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Twitter.

The United Kingdom is one of the countries most affected by the covid-19, with almost 149,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic in its territory, in March 2020.

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