UK

Stepson of the UK’s ‘first Omicron victim’: He was an unvaccinated conspiracy theorist

How Omicron went from one UK case to 1million per day in just three weeks

November 25: The UK Government relaunches its red travel list and hotel quarantine for six African countries including South Africa

November 27: The UK Health Security Agency confirms that the first cases of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with B.1.1.529 – known as Omicron – was identified in the UK. 

December 12: 3,137 Omicron cases reported in the UK, mostly in England. But just ten people are in hosiptal.

December 13: Britain’s first Omicron death is announced. Boris Johnson gave no details on the death other than the person had been diagnosed in hospital. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid says the variant now accounted for 44% of infections in London and would be the dominant strain in the capital within 48 hours. New Omicron infections are estimated at 200,000 per day, he said.

December 14: Experts say cases are doubling every 2.5 days and predict 1million cases per day by Sunday

December 15: The travel red list is scrapped due to the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK 

December 16: The stepson of the first Omicron fatality says he was unvaccinated when he died in hospital in Northampton on Monday   

The first person in Britain to die after catching Omicron was an anti-vaxxer pensioner who refused the life-saving jab after becoming convinced it was part of a Government conspiracy to control the population having been brainwashed online, his stepson claimed today.

The unnamed victim, who was in his early seventies, was described as a retired ‘recluse’ who was ‘fit and healthy’ but shunned a covid jab, falling ill in early December and dying in hospital in Northampton on Monday. 

His passing was announced by Boris Johnson earlier this week – but the lack of transparency over the UK’s first Omicron death prompted fury, as critics including senior doctors told the Government to release more details to stop ‘unnecessary alarm’. 

Four days on, there are still no further details from health officials. The Department of Health declined to comment saying they don’t discuss ‘individual cases’. 

The first Omricon case was recorded in the UK on November 27 – an estimated 1million people per day will be infected by Sunday, current estimates suggest.

The stepson of the victim of the first UK fatal case, named only by LBC as John from Smithfield to protect the identity of the dead man, claimed he was a pensioner who had lived alone in a block of flats and died a fortnight after catching the virus.

‘He was a recluse to be honest. He never left the house, had all his food delivered and only left the house to go to the bins and the postbox. He was one of the cleanest guys I’d ever known’, John said.

‘But this is the important thing. He wasn’t vaccinated. My sister is gutted but on the other hand she’s a little bit angry that he never took the vaccine. She did have an argument with him about it in October about this very thing. 

‘He thought it was a conspiracy. He read it online. He was an intelligent man’, John said, adding: ‘Had he been vaccinated, he would probably still be here.’ 

John said his stepfather had died in hospital on Monday, around a week after being admitted. He said: ‘He started to look good but went downhill just like that. He wasn’t able to speak, he was scared. I think if you’re in hospital, having 80% oxygen fired at you, you would regret it (not having a jab) wouldn’t you. I would. He was fit. He ate healthy, he didn’t smoke and didn’t drink in 30 years’.

Asked about Chris Whitty and Boris Johnson’s warnings about the dangers of Omicron by Nick Ferrari, he said: ‘It might be an overreaction but we don’t know. It’s the people who haven’t been vaccinated – they’re the ones that need to be worried now. The key thing is that he wasn’t vaccinated and he’d probably still be here. He might be ill, but he’d still be here’.  

Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) as millions were warned to get a booster to protect themselves. Mr Whitty said increased hospitalisations were now ‘nailed on’ 

The above graph shows the proportion of cases suspected to be Omicron because they do not have an S-gene (purple). PCR tests look for three genes to confirm a Covid infection but with Omicron one is so mutated that they only pick up two of them

The above graph shows the proportion of cases suspected to be Omicron because they do not have an S-gene (purple). PCR tests look for three genes to confirm a Covid infection but with Omicron one is so mutated that they only pick up two of them

Professor of medicine and consultant oncologist Karol Sikora said earlier this week that the Government was not providing the nation with enough information about the death, and that this was ‘unnecessarily alarming’. 

‘Were they in hospital for Covid or were they there because they had been run over by a bus?,’ he said.  

Boris Johnson revealed the UK’s first death due to Omicron on a visit to a vaccination clinic in Paddington, west London on Monday, the day the unnamed man died.

He said: ‘Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.’

Mr Johnson did not reveal the age of the person who died, or if they had underlying health conditions, which made them vulnerable, or whether Omicron was the leading cause of their death or a secondary factor. 

The death in the UK is thought to be the first confirmed Omicron fatality in the world.

However, given the variant makes up almost every case in South Africa it is likely that the vast majority of fatalities there are due to the mutant strain but a lack of testing means these are not picked up.  

UKHSA however did reveal that the individual who died of Omicron was diagnosed in hospital. 

Professor of medicine and consultant oncologist Karol Sikora said the Government should release more details about the death to put people’s minds at ease.   

‘Have they had booster? Are they elderly?,’ he said.  

‘There are all sorts of nuances to this thing, and we’re not being given proper information.’

He added that given the average age of Covid fatalities in the UK, and that the individual may have died while being infected with Omicron, as opposed to because of the variant, there was no reason to panic and the Government should calm fears rather than stoke them. 

‘The average age of death of Covid is 82.5 so a lot of 82-year-old people die in a year, at any one time,’ he said.

Professor of medicine and consultant oncologist Karol Sikora said the Government was not providing the nation with enough information about the first Omicron death

Professor of medicine and consultant oncologist Karol Sikora said the Government was not providing the nation with enough information about the first Omicron death

‘No details have been released, I suspect it’s just some old boy that’s tested positive, he may have died in his sleep or with a heart attack, who knows?

‘It is unnecessarily alarming.’

Professor Sikora said his suspicion is that the silence regarding whether the person was vaccinated or not indicated to him that the person died of another cause while they had Omicron. 

‘I suspect that it’s a death, which is unfortunate, but is due to something else, and it just happens to be Covid positive that’s why they’re not making a big noise  about them being vaccinated or not,’ he said.

When queried on the lack of details regarding the Omicron death, the Prime Minister’s spokesman cited patient confidentiality as a reason, but added more details may be forthcoming in UKHSA end of week report.   

‘Obviously when it comes to individual deaths there is a right to patient confidentiality so we are limited in what we can say,’ he said. 

‘But we will provide further breakdown on things like characteristics, both of cases, numbers in hospital, through the surveillance report.’

The spokesman added that deaths from Omicron were sadly inevitable due to the ease in which spread, meaning that while it was not in itself more deadly than regular Covid, more cases meant more deaths. 

‘I don’t think anyone is in any doubt that there will be deaths because of Omicron. That is sadly something that we have to face because of this increased transmissibility.’ 


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