Officials have confirmed that six cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have now been detected in Scotland.
This comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that the first two UK cases of the new variant had been identified in England, with one case in Brentwood, Essex, and another in Nottingham.
It’s understood that four cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the Lanarkshire area, while another two have been recorded in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
This will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant. All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.
This will help establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they have come into contact with in recent weeks.
There is still much to learn about the Omicron variant. Questions remain about its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments or vaccines and scientists are working at pace to provide additional information.
Until more is known we must be cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.
Yousaf went on to state that the Scottish government will now be aligning with new border restrictions introduced by the UK government which will mean all fully vaccinated arrivals must submit a PCR test within the first two days of arriving, self-isolating until they receive a negative test result.
It’s understood that these measures will be implemented ‘as soon as possible’, and will be ‘kept under constant review’, with Yousaf stating the government reserves ‘the right to go further if necessary’.
The Scottish government will also be ‘adopting the expanded red list of countries identified by the UK Government’, a list which will reportedly also be continually reviewed.
Contact tracing is now underway to establish the origin of the virus as well as any other individuals the six patients may have had contact with in the weeks leading up to their diagnosis.
Close contacts of those with suspected cases of Omicron are advised to self-isolate for 10 days, whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.
If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online
Topics: News, Coronavirus, Now, Omicron