London [UK]: As the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ has caused worry among governments around the world, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said that there are chances that the new strain could spread among people who are double vaccinated.
“I must stress this, as always with a new variant, there are many things that we just can not know at this early stage. But our scientists are learning more hour by hour. And it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated,” Johnson said during a press conference. PM’s remarks came after the United Kingdom reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant.
UK’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Saturday that the two cases were discovered on Friday, one in Chelmsford and another in Nottingham. Both cases “are linked,” Javid added, stating that both patients are currently isolating at home.
Besides the Uk, Germany has also reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant.
WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations — 32 — which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Following the reports about the new variant, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Israel, Australia and other countries have restricted travel from several southern African nations over the health concerns.