Hello and welcome to coverage of all Covid-19 related news, internationally and here in the UK, where the scale of the threat posed by the Omicron variant has been laid bare by government scientists who warned that there are now hundreds of thousands of infections every day in Britain.
They warned daily number could reach between 600,000 and 2 million by the end of the month if new restrictions are not brought in immediately.
In other developments:
• Nations across Europe moved to reimpose tougher measures to stem a new wave of Covid infections, with the Netherlands leading the way by imposing a nationwide lockdown.
• Germany is tightening restrictions on travel from the UK in an attempt to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.
• The World Health Organization reported Saturday that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 89 countries, and Covid cases involving the variant are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in places with community transmission and not just infections acquired abroad.
• Kamala Harris has conceded that the Biden administration was blind to the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid-19, and said she fears “misinformation” over vaccines will prolong the pandemic well into a third year in the US.
• Australia’s federal health minister has said it is unlikely the country will follow the Netherlands and impose significant lockdowns to suppress surging Omicron infections, although the deputy chief medical officer, noted that the new variant was highly transmissible
This is Ben Quinn in London. You can flag up any news that we should be aware of on Twitter at @BenQuinn75 or email me