DOZENS of cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been recorded in Essex.

The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency shows 37 cases had been identified in the county by December 6.

Thurrock recorded the highest number of infections with 10, while other areas such as Basildon, Colchester and Chelmsford reported multiple cases.

The data shows the majority of Omicron cases in Essex were recorded in the weeks ending November 22 and 29.

But a single case was recorded in Rochford as early as the week ending November 8.

It was originally thought the first case in Essex was identified in Brentwood the week ending November 15.

No new cases were identified in Essex in the latest weekly period ending December 6.

Here are all the areas in Essex that have recorded Omicron cases so far, and how many have been found in those areas:

Thurrock – 10

Basildon – 6

Colchester – 5

Chelmsford – 5

Brentwood - 4

Rochford – 3

Southend – 1

Castle Point – 1

Tendring – 1

Maldon - 1

No cases had been recorded in Braintree, Uttlesford or Harlow as of December 6, the latest dats shows.

It comes as the first death linked to the Omicron variant has been confirmed in the UK by Boris Johnson.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccination clinic near Paddington in west London, the Prime Minister 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.”

It came after Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government will “throw everything at” the booster programme to tackle Omicron, which is spreading fast across the UK.

Mr Johnson repeatedly declined to rule out further coronavirus restrictions ahead of Christmas as he said the goal is to offer a booster to every adult by the end of the year.

There has been confusion over whether people will be guaranteed a jab by December 31, with NHS England saying everyone will have been offered the chance to book a booster.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister said people would be able to “get” their jab by that date.

Speaking to broadcasters during his visit on Monday, the Prime Minister said: “Throughout the pandemic I’ve been at great pains to stress to the public that we have to watch where the pandemic is going and we take whatever steps are necessary to protect public health.

“We think the steps that we are taking – so Plan B, combined with a hugely ambitious acceleration of the booster campaign, bringing it forward by a month so we offer a booster to every adult by the end of the year – we think that’s the right approach.”