Politics

UK confirms two cases of Omicron variant – POLITICO

The UK’s well being authorities have registered two confirmed cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Well being Secretary Sajid Javid stated right now.

“We have now been made conscious [by the UK Health Security Agency] of two UK cases of the Omicron variant. The two cases are linked and there’s a reference to journey to southern Africa. These people are self-isolating with their households whereas additional testing and make contact with tracing is underway,” he tweeted.

The U.Ok. is including Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola to its journey “crimson listing” from early Sunday morning. On Friday, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini have been added to the listing, bringing a short lived suspension of flights and strict controls on travellers. The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa.

Residents from outdoors the U.Ok. or Eire who’ve been in these nations over the previous 10 days will refused entry into England. UK and Irish residents need to isolate in a government-approved facility for 10 days.

Javid stated additional focused testing is being rolled out across the cities of Nottingham and Chelmsford, the place the Omicron cases have been discovered, together with sequencing all constructive cases.

“This can be a fast-moving state of affairs and we’re taking decisive steps to guard public well being,” he stated.

Omicron was labeled as a “variant of concern” by the WHO on Friday and as a excessive danger variant by the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management on account of “severe issues that it could considerably cut back the effectiveness of vaccines and improve the danger of reinfections.”

It was first detected in Europe in Belgium on Friday. Dutch authorities on Saturday stated that 61 travellers from South Africa examined constructive for the coronavirus, and researchers are ascertaining whether or not it’s the Omicron variant. Kai Klose, state minister president for the German state of Hesse, on Friday evening tweeted that “a number of mutations typical of Omicron have been discovered” on a passenger getting back from South Africa, however full genetic sequencing remains to be pending.

The European Union on Friday moved to ban journey from seven Southern African nations. The U.S. and a number of other different nations are taking comparable steps.

The South African authorities lamented such bans, saying it is being punished for effectively detecting variants and sharing information overtly, suggesting the restrictions would possibly discourage others from coming ahead.

“While we respect the proper of all nations to take the mandatory precautionary measures to guard their residents, we have to do not forget that this pandemic requires collaboration and sharing of experience. Our fast concern is the injury that these restrictions are inflicting to households, the journey and tourism industries and enterprise,” South African Minister for Worldwide Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said in a press release.

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