Two cases of Omicron variant detected in UK

Two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected in the UK, according to health secretary Savid Javid.

The cases, which are linked together, have been connected to travel to southern Africa, Javid added.

"Late last night I was contacted by the UK Health Security Agency. I was informed that they have detected two cases of this new variant, Omicron, in the United Kingdom. One in Chelmsford, the other in Nottingham," Javid said on a broadcast.

The individuals in question have been told to self-isolate and will be tested again while additional tests are carried out.

As of the early hours of this morning, Britain added Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Angola to its “red list.

This means that individuals arriving from those countries will need to be quarantined in an approved hotel for 10 days, while non-residents will not be allowed to enter the country.

Already featured on that list were: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The prime minister Boris Johnson and the chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance will hold a news conference today to outline the additional measures that will be taken to keep to new strain under control.

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