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Two cases of COVID-19 variant Omicron detected in UK COVID-19
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Two cases of COVID-19 variant Omicron detected in UK

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Nov 2021, 10:38 pm

London/IBNS: Two people have been infected with Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant first found in South Africa, in the United Kingdom.

British Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, said the cases are linked and the individuals have isolated themselves.

Javid tweeted, "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 is underway."

"As a precaution we are rolling out additional targeted testing in the affected areas - Nottingham and Chelmsford - and sequencing all positive cases. This is a fast-moving situation and we are taking decisive steps to protect public health," he added.

The country is also adding Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola to the travel red list from Sunday.

The health secretary tweeted, "We are also adding Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola to the travel red list - effective from 4am Sunday. If you have returned from there in the last 10 days you must isolate and get PCR tests. And if you are eligible for your booster jab - now is the time to get it."

The new COVID-19 variant was first detected in southern Africa, which has led to a surge in infections in South Africa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the recently-detected B.1.1.529 strain of COVID-19 as a variant of concern and named it as Omicron.

"Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in Covid-19 epidemiology... the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern (VOC), named Omicron," the UN health agency said in a statement.

This puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of COVID-19 variants besides the globally-dominant Delta.

The variant has also been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.