Not less than 2 individuals in U.Okay. have new COVID variant: “It is a actual reminder that this pandemic is much from over”

Britain turned the most recent nation Saturday to report circumstances of the brand new probably extra contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus as governments all over the world sought to shore up their defenses by slapping restrictions on journey from nations in southern Africa.

Amid fears that the lately recognized new variant has the potential to be extra proof against the safety supplied by vaccines, there are rising considerations that the pandemic and related lockdown restrictions will persist for a lot longer than hoped.

U.Okay. Well being Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that two individuals have examined constructive with the Omicron variant within the southeastern English city of Chelmsford and within the central metropolis of Nottingham. He mentioned the circumstances had been linked and associated to journey from southern Africa.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding a media briefing Saturday, scheduled for 12 p.m. ET — Watch it stay on CBSN within the participant above.  

Javid mentioned the 2 confirmed circumstances are self-isolating alongside their households whereas contact tracing and focused testing takes place. 

He additionally added 4 extra international locations — Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia — onto the nation’s journey purple listing from Sunday. Six others — Botswana, Eswatini (previously generally known as Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe — had been added Friday. Meaning anybody permitted to reach from these locations should quarantine.

“It is a actual reminder that this pandemic is much from over,” he mentioned. “If we have to take additional motion, we’ll.”

Virus Outbreak Britain
Some individuals put on masks to curb the unfold of coronavirus outdoors the Selfridges division retailer throughout Black Friday gross sales, on Oxford Avenue, in London, November 26, 2021.

Matt Dunham/AP

Many international locations have slapped restrictions on varied southern African international locations over the previous couple of days together with Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Thailand and the US, in response to warnings over the transmissibility of the brand new variant — towards the recommendation of the World Well being Group. Pharmaceutical firms expressed optimism that they might finesse their vaccines to cope with the brand new variant although that might clearly take a while.

Regardless of the banning of flights, there are mounting considerations that the variant has already been broadly seeded all over the world. Along with the U.Okay., circumstances have been reported in vacationers in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong. Germany additionally mentioned it suspected a constructive case and Dutch authorities had been testing whether or not 61 individuals who arrived on two flights from South Africa with COVID-19 have the Omicron variant.

The worldwide well being physique has named the brand new variant Omicron, labeling it a variant of concern due to its excessive variety of mutations and a few early proof that it carries a better diploma of an infection than different variants. Meaning individuals who contracted COVID-19 and recovered could possibly be topic to catching it once more. It might take weeks to know if present vaccines are much less efficient towards it.

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