Tue, 25 Jan 2022

LONDON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Two cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in Britain, British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Saturday.

He said the cases, detected in Chelmsford and in Nottingham, are "linked" and the two individuals are now self-isolating along with their households while further tests and contact tracing take place.

Meanwhile, four more countries are being added to Britain's travel "red list" from 0400 GMT on Sunday: Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

The British government has previously added South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia to the country's travel red list. Flights from these nations to Britain have been suspended until 0400 GMT on Sunday when hotel quarantine is up and running.

Passengers arriving in Britain from these countries from 0400 GMT on Sunday will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel to quarantine for 10 days. The British government has urged anyone who has arrived from these countries recently to get tested.

In a warning that fresh measures may be on the way, Javid said: "We've been always very clear that we won't hesitate to take further action if that is what is required."

Omicron, also called B.1.1.529, has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Israel and possibly in other countries and regions.

A growing number of countries and regions are suspending flights from southern African countries due to the new variant, which has sparked serious concern among scientists and researchers and triggered a massive slump of stocks in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday the latest variant B.1.1.529 of SARS-CoV-2 to be "of concern", its most serious level, and officially gave it the Greek name Omicron. The WHO has asked countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to fight the new variant.

Scientists are still unclear whether existing antibodies would react well to Omicron, which has 32 spike protein mutations, more than previously found variants.

More Greece News

Access More

Sign up for Greece News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!