London [UK], November 29 (ANI/Sputnik): Six cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been confirmed in Scotland, taking the total for the United Kingdom up to nine with the previous three infections detected in England, the Scottish health authorities reported on Monday.
"Six cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant have been identified in Scotland. Four cases are in the Lanarkshire area and two have been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area," the Scottish semiautonomous government said in a statement, with Scotland's Health Secretary Humaz Yousaf adding that "all will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases."
According to Yousaf, 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.
He warned that since there was still much to learn about this new variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 regarding its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments and vaccines, people must be cautious and do everything they can to minimize the risk of spreading infection.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the new strain of the coronavirus, Omicron, as one of concern, since it may be more transmissible and dangerous. Cases of the new variant have already been confirmed in multiple countries and governments rushed to suspend travel with southern African nations in order to prevent the spread of the new strain.
In the United Kingdom, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport and in shops and other closed settings including banks, post offices and hairdressers from Tuesday, when isolation rules will return for international arrivals until they receive a negative PCR test for COVID-19.
The UK also convened an urgent meeting of the Group of Seven health ministers on Monday to discuss the Omicron variant. (ANI/Sputnik)