Two omicron COVID-19 cases found in UK
The first cases of the omicron coronavirus variant have been identified in the United Kingdom (U.K.), the country’s health officials announced Saturday.
Two omicron coronavirus cases have been found in the U.K., according to the country’s Health Security Agency.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the two cases were found in Chelmsford and Nottingham, and both patients as well as their households are under quarantine, the BBC reported. Further testing and contract tracing will be done to determine if more cases have entered the U.K.
The newly identified cases make the United Kingdom the latest in a growing list of countries with known omicron variant cases.
The variant, which could be highly transmissible, was first discovered in South Africa, and its existence was announced on Thursday. The new variant has sent world leaders scrambling to contain the spread, as there are 30 different mutations in the omicron variant.
The mutations have scientists scrambling to determine if current vaccines will be as effective against the variant.
Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel have had cases of the new variant as of Saturday morning.
The U.K. had announced it would be restricting air travel to and from several African countries due to the new variant.
“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,” Javid said, according to the BBC.
“If anyone has travelled to these four countries or any of the other red-listed countries in the last four days then they must self isolate and take PCR tests,” he added.
Updated 11:23 a.m.
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