Omicron continues to spread with 26 more Covid variant cases recorded in UK – bringing total to 160 – .

Omicron continues to spread with 26 more Covid variant cases recorded in UK – bringing total to 160 – .

The UK Health Safety Agency said 26 more cases of the Omicron variant have been reported across the UK, including 25 in England.
This means that the total number of confirmed cases of the variant in the UK now stands at 160, the agency said.

Overall, the government said as of 9 a.m. on Saturday there had been 42,848 other laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

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He also said 127 other people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

Separate figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that there have now been 170,000 recorded deaths in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

It comes as the Health Secretary announced that all travelers arriving in England will be required to take a Covid-19 pre-departure test – while Nigeria is added to the government’s travel red list.

Mr Javid said the government decided to move after receiving new data on the spread of the Omicron variant, which has emerged in southern Africa.

“Since we heard about this new variant, our strategy has been to save time. We always said we would act quickly if new data demanded it, ”he told broadcasters.

“In recent days, we have learned of a significant number of increasing cases linked to travel with Nigeria.

“There are already 27 cases in England and it is increasing. Nigeria is now second behind South Africa in terms of Omicron-related cases. “

The Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) later said the correct figure was 21.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have said they are both adopting similar controls.

The announcement will be seen as evidence of growing concern within Whitehall over the threat posed by the Omicron variant.

However, the requirement for pre-departure testing was met with anger and dismay in the travel industry – just as bookings resumed as the Christmas holidays approached.

DHSC said a new analysis from the UK Health and Security Agency (HSA) suggested the window between infection and infectivity may be shorter for the Omicron variant, increasing the efficiency of pre-departure testing because he is more likely to identify positive cases before travel.

Nigeria joins 10 other African countries – Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – on the red list.

Mr Javid, however, stressed that the government still viewed the expanded immunization program as its main weapon in the fight against the spread of the disease.

“It’s important to remember that as we introduce these new border measures, vaccinations are our first line of defense. The expansion of the recall program is extremely important, ”he said.

The HSA said on Friday that in England cases of Omicron have now been identified in the East Midlands, East England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands.

People who have tested positive for the variant and their contacts are urged to self-isolate while the HSA has said it performs targeted testing in places where positive cases are considered likely to be infectious.

The numbers came as a risk assessment by the HSA classified the Omicron variant as “red” for the severity of infection and “amber” for transmissibility between humans.

He said the variant was likely to reduce protection against natural or acquired immunity by vaccine.

However, he acknowledged that there was so far “insufficient data” to draw firm conclusions and the assessment was presented with a “low level of confidence”.

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