COVID-19: Nine known cases of Omicron in UK and six infections detected in Scotland

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COVID-19: Nine known cases of Omicron in UK and six infections detected in Scotland


Six cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in Scotland, authorities have confirmed.

They are in addition to the three already detected in England.

Four cases are in the Lanarkshire area and two have been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

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Omicron: What do we know so far?

Some of the cases are believed to have no known travel history, suggesting they may have been transmitted inside the country.

Scottish Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney told the BBC: ‘We obviously have a travel history on some cases, I don’t have all of those details available to me at this point, but on some cases we know that there is no travel history involved in some cases.

“So what this tells us is that there has to be a degree of community transmission of this particular strain of the virus in the absence of a direct connection for some of the cases in the southern African region.

“This obviously opens up new challenges for us in terms of interrupting the spread of this particular strain of the virus and this will be the subject of the contact tracing operation which is already underway. “

Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “It will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant.

“All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake improved contact tracing in all cases.

“This will help establish the origin of the virus and anyone else they have been in contact with in recent weeks. “

She said there was “still a lot to learn” about the Omicron variant, with questions remaining about its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments or vaccines.

Ms Yousaf said scientists were working “to the beat” to provide additional information.

“Until we know more, we need to be careful and do everything possible to minimize the risk of the infection spreading,” she said.

She said the Scottish government has already taken action to tackle the Omicron variant by enacting new UK government border restrictions that will require fully vaccinated arrivals to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and self -isolate until a negative result is received.

She said these measures will be introduced as soon as possible and will be constantly reviewed.

“We reserve the right to go further if necessary,” she added.

Scotland is also adopting the Expanded Red List of countries identified by the UK government, which includes ten African countries: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

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