Omicron: First two cases of new Covid variant detected in UK

Two infections with the new Omicron variant have been detected in the UK, it has been announced.

The cases – in Chelmsford and Nottingham – are “linked” and orginate from southern Africa, health secretary Sajid Javid said, as he started sequence testing of other cases in the areas.

Mr Javid announced that four countries – Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia –are being added to the travel ‘red list’ from Sunday, requiring arrivals to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

“We’ve been always very clear that we will not hesitate to take further action if that is what is required,” he said.

“The two individuals concerned are isolating alongside their whole households, whilst further tests and sequencing is carried out.”

Scientists had predicted that the arrival of Omicron in the UK was inevitable – prompting some calls for the government to trigger its ‘plan B’ list of tougher Covid measures.

Asked if the public should now expect changes “as we head in into Christmas”, Mr 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.”

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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