Two cases of Omicron variant found in the UK

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The government said that two cases of the Covid-19 omicron variant have been identified in the UK.

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Individuals and all members of their households have been ordered to self-isolate after a case was detected in Chelmsford, Essex and Nottingham.

It is believed that both the cases are related and it is related to South Africa.


Health Secretary Sajid Javid said targeted testing was now being done, as travel restrictions were to be imposed for Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.

Sajid Javid told BBC News: “One thing I can announce today is that we are immediately carrying out targeted testing and sequencing of positive cases in the two areas most likely to be affected.”

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The health secretary said anyone who has recently traveled to the four red list countries – Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia – in the last 10 days should undergo a PCR test.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to take further measures during a Downing Street press conference later on Saturday.

“The UK Health Protection Agency is conducting targeted testing at locations where positive cases were likely to be infectious,” the department said.

“In response to the developing situation, the UK is taking decisive action to protect public health. Confirmed cases and contacts are being followed up and requested to isolate and test as necessary.”

Sajid Javid warned on Friday that the new version could be more permeable than the delta version, and could affect the effectiveness of current vaccines.

“It could also affect the effectiveness of one of our major treatments,” he told the House of Commons.

He said the variant was of “huge international concern” and that it was “highly likely” that it had spread to other countries.

“We are concerned that this new variant may pose a substantial risk to public health. The variant carries an unusually large number of mutations,” he said.


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