Categories: Latest News

UK detects first 2 cases of new COVID-19 variant Omicron

UK detects the first 2 cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron on Saturday.

  • The new variant has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.
  • On Friday, the UK placed South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini on the list.

After overnight genome sequencing, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed that two cases of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with B.1.1.529 have been identified in the UK.

According to the British health secretary Sajid Javid, the patients were detected in Chelmsford and Nottingham, Javid was quoted as saying by the BBC.

He said that the cases are linked and the two people are self-isolating alongside their households while further tests and contact tracing takes place.

“We have been made aware by @UKHSA of two UK cases of the Omicron variant. The two cases are linked and there is a connection with travel to southern Africa. These individuals are self-isolating with their households while further testing and contact tracing are underway, “Javid shared on Twitter.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said:

“We will do all we can to protect the UK public against this emerging threat and that is why we are surging testing capacity to the impacted communities and introducing travel restrictions on a further four countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola. We will not hesitate to take further action if required.”

When questioned if the UK public should now expect changes “as we head into Christmas”, the health secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

“We’ve always been really clear that we will do whatever is necessary to protect the progress that we’ve made as a country.

We’ve come a long way, especially since the summer, and we keep all of this under review and if we need to take further action, we will.

Following the development, four more countries are being added to the UK’s travel “red list” from 4 am on Sunday: Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia.

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, said:

“We have moved rapidly and the individuals are self-isolating while contact tracing is ongoing.

We will do all we can to protect the UK public against this emerging threat and that is why we are surging testing capacity to the impacted communities and introducing travel restrictions on a further four countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola. We will not hesitate to take further action if required.

This is a stark reminder that we are not yet out of this pandemic.

Getting the vaccine has never been more important – please come forward for your first jab if you haven’t already and if eligible, book your booster as soon as possible.

Saman Siddiqui

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