UK government’s wait for Omicron evidence is a high-stakes gamble
Analysis: ‘incontrovertible evidence’ is a tall order and in the meantime the NHS risks being overwhelmed
At a long and difficult cabinet meeting on Monday, hawkish ministers demanded “incontrovertible evidence” that Omicron risks overwhelming the NHS to justify the cost of taking action, while on Tuesday Boris Johnson confirmed his view that there is insufficient evidence to justify new measures – yet.
While some clarity on the hospitalisation rate associated with the new variant should be available within a day or two, scientists have warned that getting the evidence ministers want may be “a tall order”. So why is it so hard to work out, and what does that mean for decision-making?