COVID-19: Two cases of Omicron variant confirmed in the UK

The new coronavirus variant has been declared to be of concern by the World Health Organisation

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

Two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in the UK.

The heavily-mutated COVID-19 variant has been declared to be “of concern” by the World Health Organisation. Belgium was the first European country to report a case of the new variant, first identified in South Africa.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced the cases were found in Chelmsford and in Nottingham. He said the two cases are linked, and the connection has been traced to southern Africa.

After an emergency meeting on Friday, WHO said the variant had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said preliminary data on the risks of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, was of high concern.