Covid: Dominic Raab claims 250 people in hospital with Omicron - before revising the number down to 10

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Raab gets his numbers wrong in two TV interviews

Dominic Raab appeared to be confused over the number of people who had been hospitalised with Omicron - coming up with different figures in three interviews.

The Justice Secretary initially told Sky News that 250 people had been hospitalised with the variant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, he later revised that figure down to nine during an interview with BBC Breakfast.

When challenged about the numbers on Good Morning Britain, he then said that 10 people were in hospital with the variant.

Official figures show that there are 10 people currently in hospital with Omicron.

Officials said that Mr Raab had “misspoke” when getting his figures wrong.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What happened? 

Kate McCann, who is the political correspondent for Sky News, said “I’m sure people will be pleased to hear that it’s nowhere near as high as 250. We understand that Dominic Raan misunderstood or misheard the question.

“Of course 250 would be incredibly high - we know that’s the worry, the pressure on the NHS is the concern for the Government and that’s why we’re talking about the potential for new restrictions and of course the votes today” she added.

“Clearly, it’s a significant error and there will be people out there who would have heard that and thought ‘wow that seems much higher than I thought it was going to be’’’.

Raab later accused a broadcaster of “ranting” after being challenged on the confusion on the number of Omicron hospital admissions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He told Adil Ray, the presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “First of all, I misheard one of the questions around whether it was hospitalisations of Omicron-related patients or more generally, but the figures are: one death from Omicron, 10 in hospital and I can tell you the latest daily hospitalisations run at 900.”

Mr Raab said to Sky News earlier that if the rate of transmission continues: “We will see those numbers increase very dramatically.

“A proportion of those hospitalised will possibly die or have a very serious suffering [due to Omicron]”, he warned.

He also said there was currently “no plans” for more restrictions beyond Plan B.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Those measures are being voted on by MPs tonight (14 December) with dozens of Tory MPs set to rebel against the Government.

However, the restrictions are all-but-certain to pass with Labour supporting the measures.

How many cases of Omicron are there?

There are now 4,713 confirmed Omicron cases across the UK although the true number could be far higher.

Lateral flow tests are unavailable to order for the second day running, despite the public being told to test everyday if they are in close contact with an infected person.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On Monday, the Prime Minister rejected claims that the variant produces mild symptoms.

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

“I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that 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 out boosters.”

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.