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UK reports 2 cases of new COVID-19 variant Omicron

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Google Oneindia News

London, Nov 27: The UK on Saturday reported two cases of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, Sajid Javid confirmed as he added four more African countries to Britain's travel red list.

The patients were detected in Chelmsford and Nottingham, as per Javid, who said that the two people are self-isolating alongside their households while further tests and contact tracing takes place.

UK reports 2 cases of new COVID-19 variant Omicron

"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," Javid said on Twitter.

"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 said in another tweet.

The new variant was first detected in South Africa and also identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. On Friday, the UK placed South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini on the list.

In his announcement on Saturday, health secretary Javid said Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia would be added to that list. "We've always been very clear that we won't hesitate to take further action if that is what is required.

"Today I can announce one thing that we are doing immediately is carrying out targeted testing and sequencing of positive cases in the two areas that are affected," he said.

"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," Javid tweeted.

It was on Friday designated as a "Variant of Concern" by the WHO, which named it "Omicron".
Countries around the world are currently racing to introduce travel bans and restrictions on southern African countries in an effort to contain Omicron's spread.

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