As of Thursday 2 December, the UK Health Security Agency has stopped giving updates on the location of Omicron cases. It told NationalWorld it would share “more detail about where cases are located geographically in due course”.
The number of people in the UK known to have the Omicron coronavirus variant has climbed to 246, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
The health body confirmed on Sunday (5 December) there had been 86 new cases reported, including 68 in England and 18 in England.
That brought the total to 246, up from 160 a day earlier (4 December).
Local breakdowns of where the variant has been detected are no longer available.
On 3 December, UKHSA said it had detected cases in the East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands. Yokrshire was the only English region with no cases at this point.
The below map reveals which councils had had a confirmed case as of 2 December, the last day UKHSA published the breakdown.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a Steps concert at Glasgow’s Hydro on 22 November was among the sources of a rising number of Omicron cases in Scotland.
She said: “The number of Omicron cases now being reported in Scotland is rising, and cases are no longer all linked to a single event, but to several different sources including a Steps concert at the Hydro on November 22.
“This confirms our view that there is now community transmission of this variant within Scotland. Given the nature of transmission we would expect to see cases rise, perhaps significantly, in the days ahead.
“However, health protection teams are continuing work through contact tracing, isolation and testing to slow the spread as far as possible while we learn more about the new variant’s impact. Ministers are also keeping the situation under daily review.”
Six cases are understood to be linked to the concert at the Hydro on November 22.
Risk to those who attended is said to be low and those who may have come into contact with the new variant at the event are being contacted.
No one from the concert needs to isolate, unless asked to by Test and Protect or if they develop symptoms.
The first Welsh case of the Omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area last week, the Welsh Government said.
The case of the Covid-19 Omicron variant is linked to international travel, a spokesperson said.
The Government said it is “prepared to respond rapidly to emerging variants of concern and intensive investigations and robust public health action are being taken to slow any spread”.
The public has been urged to follow steps “which keep us safe”, with the Welsh Government calling for people to take up the offer of a vaccine.
Health chiefs fear existing vaccines could be less effective against the new mutation.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has released more information about the work being undertaken to assess the threat that Omicron poses.
It said while data was limited, the cases identified so far were likely due to a number of separate introductions into the country.
Its analysis of 22 Omicron cases confirmed in England by November 30 shows that:
– 12 of the 22 cases were more than 14 days after receiving at least two doses of vaccine– Two cases were more than 28 days after a first dose of vaccine– Six were unvaccinated– Two had no available information
None of the cases are known to have been hospitalised or died, but it said that “most of the cases have a specimen date that is very recent and that there is a lag between onset of infection and hospitalisation and death.”
UKHSA Chief Executive, Jenny Harries said:
“I want to thank everyone who has been working globally and locally to help us act incredibly quickly in response to the Omicron variant.
“Thanks to very high levels of vaccine coverage we already have a robust wall of defence against Covid-19 as new variants emerge.
“We are working as fast as possible to gather more evidence about any impact the new variant may have on severity of disease or vaccine effectiveness. Until we have this evidence, we must exercise the highest level of caution in drawing conclusions about any significant risks to people’s health.
“The most important thing everyone can do now is to get any vaccine dose that you are eligible for – it is by far the most effective action you can take to protect yourself, your families and your communities.
“It is also vital to continue with all the other precautions we have become used to throughout the pandemic – keep indoor areas well ventilated, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, and take a rapid lateral flow (or LFD) test before a situation where you may be at high risk of catching or passing on the virus.”
Booster jabs are to be offered to all over-18s in the UK, as part of efforts to bolster the vaccination programme, with children aged 12 to 15 invited for a second jab.
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