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Nine Cases of Omicron Detected in UK

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Six cases of the Omicron variant are detected in Scotland, taking the total to nine found in the UK so far.

The Scottish and Welsh first ministers have written to Boris Johnson about the nine cases, calling for a tougher approach to travel restrictions.

The UK’s vaccine advisory body will later approve for all adults to have Covid booster jabs.

The new variant was first identified in Botswana, before it rapidly outcompeting other versions of the virus in the region of South Africa that includes Johannesburg.

The variant is highly mutated and there are concerns vaccines could be less effective against it.

A top health official calls it “the most significant variant” to date, but the UK didn’t confirm any cases to date.

“It is bad news, but it’s not doomsday,” an Oxford scientist tells the BBC.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says the UK is taking a “safety-first approach” in regard to the travel ban.

Nine countries including Germany, Italy, Israel and Singapore have also restricted travel.

The World Health Organization will hold a special meeting later today to discuss the variant.

The Delta variant became the dominant variant in most of the world over the summer.

The Delta variant is far more infectious than the previously dominant Alpha variant.

The variant is more transmissible than others and was first identified in India. But it has spread rapidly in the UK.

However, Portugal was the first European Union nation to announce that the Delta variant was now dominant on its territory.

According to the WHO, it is “well on its way” to accounting for a majority of worldwide cases of Covid-19.

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