London [UK], November 27 (ANI): The United Kingdom on Saturday reported first two cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
This comes a day after the first case of the variant - which scientists suspect could be more contagious - was recorded in Europe, RT reported.
UK's Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Saturday that the two cases were discovered on Friday, one in Chelmsford and another in Nottingham. Both cases "are linked," Javid added, stating that both patients are currently isolating at home.
"This pandemic is far from over," Javid said. "If there's one thing that everyone can be doing, is if they're eligible, please take your vaccine," RT reported.
The new Omicron variant, which has been detected first in South Africa, has escalated tensions across the world as it is considered more dangerous than the delta variant.
It has been declared as a 'variant of concern' by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations -- 32 -- which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Following the reports about the new variant, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Israel, Australia and other countries have restricted travel from several southern African nations over the health concerns. (ANI)