The UK confirmed the first two new Omicron strains of COVID-19 on Saturday. Both are related to travel from southern Africa, and travel restrictions in the region have increased.
“After overnight genomic sequencing, the UK Health and Safety Agency confirmed that two cases of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with B.1.1.529 (Omicron) were identified in the UK.” A government statement said.
“The two cases are related and there is a link to a trip to southern Africa,” he said.
One was found in the city of Nottingham in central England, and the other was found in Chelmsford, eastern London, officials said.
“We are moving rapidly and individuals are self-isolating while contact tracing is in progress,” said Health Minister Sajid Javid.
He added that the government has put four more African countries on the trip.Red list“—Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola—Valid on Sundays from 4am (Greenwich Mean Time 0400).
The UK has already stated that the advent of Omicron has banned travel from six South African countries: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
In the early days of the pandemic, the government was widely criticized for its travel and quarantine policies, which kept the border open to foreign tourists despite soaring infection rates.
“This is a clear reminder that we haven’t got out of this pandemic yet,” Javid urged the public to get a follow-up booster jab for the vaccine. “Don’t hesitate to take further action if necessary.”
© 2021 AFP
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