(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. reported fewer than 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since late December, raising hopes that the country is past the worst of its omicron wave.
The 99,652 infections recorded on Friday compare with almost 200,000 a day at the peak of the outbreak.
Hospitalizations in London, the early center of the U.K. omicron onslaught, are below the recent high reached on Jan. 5., and show signs of decline elsewhere in the country as well. While the average number of fatalities is creeping upward, deaths have stayed relatively low compared with earlier waves.
The generally improving situation raises the likelihood that pandemic measures will be eased when they come up for review on Jan. 26. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced his largest Conservative rebellion to date in December when he introduced the emergency steps, including mandating face masks and recommending work from home.
Given the anger over recent disclosures of lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, Johnson may struggle to muster the political capital for an extension.
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