Speaking during a visit to a vaccination clinic in London, Boris Johnson said: “Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.
“So I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population.
“So the best thing we can do is all get our boosters.”
Omicron represents about 40% of Covid cases in London
He added that the new variant now represents about 40% of coronavirus cases in London and “tomorrow it’ll be the majority of the cases” in the capital.
He told broadcasters: “The risk is plainly there, we can see Omicron spiking now in London and some other parts of the country.
“Here in the capital it probably represents about 40% of the cases. By tomorrow it’ll be the majority of the cases and it’s increasing the whole time.”
Government will ‘throw everything at the booster programme’
It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government will “throw everything at” the Covid booster programme to tackle the variant.
GPs will only focus on urgent needs and vaccinations for the next few weeks.
Mr Javid also confirmed that there were “about 10” people in hospital with the variant but warned that the UK is once again in “a race between the vaccine and the virus”.
Labour: First death ‘underlines the seriousness of the situation’
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said confirmation of the first person to have died with the Omicron variant “underlines the seriousness of the situation”.
He tweeted: “The awful news of the UK’s first Omicron death underlines the seriousness of the situation and my heart goes out to their family and friends.
“This is why the booster rollout is so vital and public health measures are necessary to reduce its spread.”
This article will continue to be updated with more information.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com